Some of us here at The Nerds of Color are also fathers, and we decided to put together a popcorn style post about being dads. Happy Father’s Day!
You might not have known, but a little movie opens this weekend. It’s called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Heard of it? Well, it’s already shattering box office records worldwide, and it’ll probably be the highest grossing movie of the year. And there’s only two more weeks left in the year.
Anyway, a bunch of the NOCs have already seen the movie and want to share their thoughts. We’ll be updating this Roundtable throughout the weekend as more of us head out to the multiplex. In the meantime, know that anything and everything after the jump are massive Star Wars spoilers. Be warned.
This week, a classic Nintendo video game celebrated a landmark anniversary. In September 1985, the first iteration of Super Mario Bros. was released for the Famicom system in Japan. Three decades later, the Italian plumber with the 40″ vertical and suspect accent has become a cultural phenomenon the world over.
To mark Nintendo’s crowning achievement in making all of us feel super old, the Nerds convened around the old Roundtable to share some of their Super Mario memories.
Wow. It’s been two days since the epic crossover between The Fastest Man Alive and the Emerald Archer blew up the internet and we are still thinking about it! Even though Christelle and Connie dropped 5,000 words combined on both episodes, we still have more to say. So we reconvened the Roundtable and brought in some of the other Nerds to talk through their Flarrow Feels.
After an action-packed season premiere, complete with a shocking twist ending, you knew the second episode — titled “Sara” — was going to be all about the fallout.
[Ed. note: I can’t be the only one who was thinking of the old Jefferson Starship song throughout this episode, right?]
Believe it or not, today marks the one year anniversary of the official launch of this blog. (While we reposted Bao’s article that inspired the website on August 1, we didn’t officially kick off the site until this post on the 12th.)
A year later, we’ve grown exponentially across our various social media platforms thanks to all of you loyal readers, followers, subscribers, and likers. To mark the occasion, we’re going to look back at the secret origins of all of the NOCs who contributed this past year. Fortunately, our roster continues to grow, so you can keep track of future origin stories by following this tag.
The Nerds can’t stop talking about Guardians of the Galaxy! For this week’s Hard N.O.C. Life, the panel tackles the phenomenon that is Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster success and what that means for the Distinguished Competition across the street.
Joining Keith on the panel are Wall Street Journal columnist Jeff Yang (@originalspin), and former Jeopardy champ Arthur Chu (@arthur_affect) along with regular panelists N’Jaila Rhee (@blasianbytch) and Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria (@rscpokenword).
Episode Nine: “The Stakeout”
This first part of Book 3 has been fast and full of non-stop action. So you know there would be some “set up” episodes and “The Stakeout” falls under this category. There isn’t too much revealed and not much action, but we do see the return of the spirit world and we learned about Zaheer’s past and perhaps clues to his intentions with Avatar Korra.
Episode Six: “Old Wounds”
There are some opportunities when my whole family sits down and enjoy a TV show, The Legend of Korra is one of them. This is episode really dives into the history of the Beifong family, sibling fighting and of course metal bending.
Beifong and team Avatar are in Metal City trying to recruit Opal who has now discovered she is an air bender. Beifong blew up at her when she tried to introduce herself and we start this episode at the breakfast table.
Episode Four: “In Harm’s Way”
Kai has been kidnapped to be part of the Earth Queen’s new Air Bender Army. Mako and Bolin rediscovered family. The league of super evil benders is forming. Korra and Tenzin are trying to figure out where are all the air benders in Ba Sing Se.
Yeah, a lot happens in this episode.
Team Korra, we have a date! On Friday afternoon, Nickelodeon announced that the first THREE episodes of the third season of The Legend of Korra will air this Friday, June 27, starting at 7 PM/6 Central. They will then take a week hiatus for 4th of July weekend, then air weekly on Fridays at 8 PM.
At the beginning of the recently concluded television season, the creators of Arrow announced they were going to produce a spin-off based on Barry Allen, aka The Flash. Last month on Hard N.O.C. Life, we had the privilege to pick the brain of Andy Poon, the concept illustrator behind the costumes on Arrow and Smallville, and we had an intriguing discussion about Barry Allen. Most of us here at the NOC have been watching Arrow, and I voiced my enthusiasm about the episode (“The Scientist”) in which Barry — as played by Glee’s Grant Gustin — first appears.
As always we were skeptical, but knowing that the creators of Arrow were involved, I had hope. It also helped that the producers seemed to be filling out the cast with plenty of people of color. Then images of The Flash’s costume were leaked, and I seriously began to have doubts.
If you hadn’t heard, a little indie movie called Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened over the weekend, and to no one’s surprise, its $96 million opening shattered box office records left and right. We at The Nerds of Color have been eagerly anticipating the release of The Winter Soldier for months now. Back when the first teaser hit, I was already claiming it as the best movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And now that it’s at a multiplex near you, we’re going to be celebrating, analyzing, critiquing this game changer of a movie all week.
We’re going to start it off by assembling our own team of top secret agents Nerds around the Roundtable and share our first impressions of the Captain America sequel. Caution: there will be spoilers. Read on at your own risk (but seriously, you should go see this already!)
This week on Hard N.O.C. Life, I’ll be interviewing our buddies Stephen and Patrick from the National Film Society. They just premiered their Kickstarted webseries Awesome Asian Bad Guys to packed houses last week during CAAMFest in San Francisco, and I was lucky enough to have them on to talk about the series. In addition to the NFS guys, I’ll also be speaking with Yuji Okumoto, aka Chozen from The Karate Kid II.
All this talk about Awesome Asian Bad Guys got me thinking about which iconic Asian villains are most beloved by the NOCs. So we assembled around the old roundtable and shared our own Awesome Asian Bad Guys.
As a special guest, we have Arrow costume concept illustrator Andy Poon to talk about designing the superhero look of the Arrow-verse.
In 2008, a character with a two-syllable name captivated a then 4 year-old NOC-in-training as she watched a movie about a fish-girl, magic, friendship, and bringing balance to the world. Many would guess that I’m describing The Little Mermaid, or even the early stages of Avatar or The Legend of Korra. All are fair assessments, but in this case we are referring to the eighth film from the amazing Studio Ghibli: Ponyo.
Now, I have written before about my introduction to anime while growing up in Peru, but it is my brother Diego that is the expert in our family. I remember him saying that I had to watch Princess Mononoke and Spirited Way, but I never got around it. And it wasn’t until one day he came to our house determined to introduce me and his niece to the world of Miyazaki.
Originally posted at The Space Between Two Worlds
I had a lot of fears back when I was a kid. Most of them were typical for my age like being scared of the dark, the dentist, or getting lost somewhere. However, I think game overs had to be one of the weirder fears. Or was it? As a kid who loved playing video games, it was only natural that I’d be seeing tons of game over screens. Back in the day, most were pretty simple; a black screen with the words “Game Over” with sad music playing. No biggie.
However, there were some that scared the shit out of me.
The other day, the original Nerd of Color, Bao Phi, came by NOC HQ with a very big problem. His four-year-old daughter really needed a comic book, and apparently, it was the Nerds’ fault! Turns out, Uncle Rodrigo gave her a special mini-comic of IDW’s My Little Pony as a gift which quickly became a valuable artifact in the Phi house. Here, I’ll let Bao explain:
As a parent, you remember the first time you took your #NOCsintraining to see their first movie. Isabella’s was Kung Fu Panda. Giselle’s was Kung Fu Panda 2. Well, it was their little brother’s turn, and we were honestly apprehensive about the situation. Santi cannot sit still for more than 20 minutes, so we needed to find something that would boost his interest.
The Disney film Mater’s Tall Tales was a huge hit in our household, especially with Santiago, our 2-year-old. So when we found the short film at the end of Cars 2 about “Air Mater” all that Santiago could say for weeks was “Again! Please!”
With that in mind, we settled on Planes to watch. The nerd in me, researched characters and plot before we went to see it. Everyone was excited because this was supposed to be the next in the Cars series, but I was intrigued with one character, El Chupacabra.
I guess Bryan Singer has a complex about Marvel movie announcements that aren’t about the X-Men. Back in October, on the same day Disney/Marvel released the long-awaited trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Singer and Fox Instagrammed a teaser vid of their own X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer. So last week, when Sony debuted their trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Singer took to twitter to divert the attention of those fans who might have been willing to give Marc Webb’s sequel a chance:
Also because the internet has a short attention span. If the X-Men eighth-quel is indeed about the classic “Age of Apocalypse” storyline from the 90s — in which a mutant time-travels to the past and accidentally kills Xavier, thus setting off an alternate timeline in which Magneto assembles the X-Men, only to have Apocalypse choose that moment to launch a war that places mutants at the top of the food chain because he slaughters humans by the millions (holy run-ons, Batman!) — then that would mean back-to-back alternate timeline movies for the X-Men. But it got the Nerds to reflect on other media that took advantage of the alternate timeline/evil twin conceit. So we took to the Roundtable once again.
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 Chow, Julie 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).
If you walk into our house, then head up the stairs, take a right at the top and walk through the door, you will find yourself in the lair of our #NOCsintraining (aka my girls’ room). From a quick glance around, you will deduce that there are Star Wars and Avengers bed sheets. Further examination of the room will reveal that LEGOs are also in abundance. And if you inspect their bookshelf, you will find comic books mostly from the Marvel Universe with a focus on the Avengers.
So yes, LEGO and Marvel nerds, we are. But my girls seem to take most interest in building LEGOs these days. Which I enjoy, too. So it was to our delight when we found out that Marvel and Lego decided to put out a series of, well, Marvel LEGO Super Heroes and titled it Maximum Overload. Since it was a Saturday evening, and it was on Netflix, and I had made popcorn, we watched it.
Before the season started, we did an episode of “Hard N.O.C. Life” in which we talked about the shows we were excited for. Sleepy Hollow made the cut, but we speculated that the show would probably be terrible. That said, we were all intrigued by the premise. Several episodes in, and it’s become one of the buzziest shows on television. It’s also one of the most diverse, with article after article pointing to its importance as a bellwether for diversifying TV’s primetime landscape.
To look back at the first half of Sleepy Hollow‘s debut season, some of the Nerds assembled around the Roundtable once again. Here’s what they think of the show: