2013: The Year in Review

As we barrel toward the end of the year, we figured it was a good time to go on hiatus and take stock of Hard NOC Life before returning on the other side of the new year with a better experience for the viewers. If you have any suggestions on how to improve the show, please feel free to let us know in the comments!

For our special year-end wrap up, Keith (@the_real_chow) has asked a roster of panel all-stars to come back one more time to the topics of the day. Joining the show are Raymond ChowJulie Kang (@JulieKang), N’Jaila Rhee (@BlasianBytch), Shawn Smith, and Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria (@rscspokenword). As always, Hard N.O.C. Life is directed by the indomitable Nelson Wong (@aarisings).

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Who Run the World? Girls

Episode Fourteen: “Light in the Dark”

Continued from Episode Thirteen

The Republic’s finest ships and zeppelins are circling the city. General Iroh, sultry-toned leader of the United Forces, sits in wait, wondering what kind of enemy he’s about to deal with. In flies UnaVaatu, decimating the ports of Republic City with Spirit Vines of Evil.

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Live-Tweets from Doctor Who‘s 50th Anniversary Special

On Saturday, at 11:50 Pacific Time, the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who, “The Day of the Doctor,” premiered in homes and movie theaters worldwide via simulcast. The Nerds of Color held a live-tweet during the entire 75-minute episode, dishing with other Twitter Whovians about the War Doctor, the charm and cheek battle between Ten vs. Eleven, all the surprise twists, the winningest quotes, and of course… the surprise guest star appearing near the end of the episode.

Here are some highlights (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT):

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Friends in All the Right Places

Episode Twelve, “Harmonic Convergence”

The second half of this week’s exciting installment of The Legend of Korra set things up for what seems like a VERY dramatic finale.

We find Team Avatar on Varrick’s zebra-striped warship, heading south. Quick history lesson: that stripe pattern was actually a real form of battleship camouflage during World War I called “razzle dazzle.” It made it difficult to guess the size, type, speed, and heading of a ship.

Varrick’s ship, the Zhu Li
Varrick’s ship, the Zhu Li
HMS Argus, circa 1917
HMS Argus, circa 1917

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NOC Recaps Doctor Who: Which Who? That Who!

“The Night of the Doctor,” secret webisode by Steven Moffat

The mini-episode starts chaotically, with a brown-haired British girl at the helm of a crashing spaceship. It takes us a couple seconds to realize that it is not Clara, the current companion to the Eleventh Doctor. Her name is Cass, and she is very brave and snarky even in the face of certain death, which makes her prime companion material. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

A flash! Then a very familiar face appears on board.

Paul McGann's surprise return
“I’m a doctor. But probably not the one you were expecting.” NO ONE was expecting The Eighth Doctor, but what a sight for sore eyes!

At this point, all of Who-fandom raised their fists into the air, growling “MOFFAT!  I love you, you sneaky bastard!” This webisode was a complete surprise, you see, and now we are getting the feeling that this is a direct prequel to the 50th Anniversary episode premiering in 9 days.

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(Air)Bend it Like Gene Yang

Two-time National Book Award finalist Gene Luen Yang (@geneluenyang) joins Hard N.O.C. Life for a special episode discussing his career as an award-winning graphic novelist and his involvement in the Avatar/Korra comic universe.

Joining Keith (@the_real_chow) on the panel as well are The N.O.C.’s resident Avatar experts Julie Kang (@JulieKang) and Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria (@rscspokenword). As always, Hard N.O.C. Life is directed by the indomitable Nelson Wong (@aarisings).

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: …And a Child Will Lead Them

Episode Nine, “The Guide”

This week’s The Legend of Korra was all about Girls Rule, Boys Drool.

The Family von Airbender is still on vacation, this time at the Eastern Air Temple, blissfully unaware of the world burning down around them. Tenzin was in the middle of trying to convince his kids that ancient relics are fun, when in walks…Korra!!! She’s looking good, considering she was a complete amnesiac two weeks ago.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Wan Where it All Began

Watching The Legend of Korra: Beginnings on Friday felt like watching a masterpiece develop. Like watching Enter the Dragon for the first time. Taking a break from all of the action that has been building up over the last several weeks, “Beginnings” goes back to the… uh… beginning. Literally.

So instead of the regular recap of the episodes, we decided to “bend” our own rules and combine the forces of Julie and Rodrigo — our regular recappers and the two resident Avatar Aficionados — to process the tons of information that was delivered to us in this two-part special.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Family Feud Edition

Episode Four: “Civil Wars, Part 2”

Father’s Day comes early this year on this episode of The Legend of Korra, where all the story lines reveal their daddy issues, both good and bad. And like any good dad, this episode was chock-full of jokes, action, and squee-inducing tenderness.

First off, Korra. As we learned from the end of Part 1, Unalaq placed his brother, Tonraq, under arrest for conspiracy to kidnap and assassinate him. At this point, Korra is just starting to feel suspicious of her uncle, but still believes him when he insists the trial is merely a formality, that the judge will be fair, and they can put this all behind them soon. Of course, since we are not naïve teenage superheroes, we knew the following would happen: Tonraq and his friends are found guilty of treason and sentenced to death, but due to Unalaq’s eloquent appeal for clemency, they are given life in prison instead.

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Fur Suit Pursuit: An Origin Story

I attended one of the nerdiest schools in the United States, an academic magnet school with a 70% Asian/Pacific Islander student population. Our cheerleaders were Asian, our basketball team was Asian, the goth kids and the hip hop kids were Asian, our homecoming queen was Asian.

When I arrived at this school in seventh grade, I was a tangled mass of perms and bangs and glasses and braces and biker shorts. I was chubby and clumsy, utterly invisible to the in-crowd. Still, I had a strong support network, and I never felt like I couldn’t try something just because of my race.

What I really wanted to be was a cheerleader. In my mind, they represented all that was totally awesome, the epitome of teenage female perfection. I dreamed about one day wearing a uniform of my own, pulling my hair up into a beribboned high ponytail, and bouncing into that smiley sorority.

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