MUSIC – Current TV Theme Songs 

As a bit of TV nerd, I’ve written before about my love of soundtracks – in particular theme songs (see various Playlist pages if you don’t believe me!) – previously. Personally, I find the un-theme of Supernatural – Carry On Wayward Sons by Kansas – to be one of the most effective defacto TV theme songs EVER. I’ve even blogged on some seriously dodgy soundtracks just because they thematically tickled me – Stalker – take a bow!  Recently,  I’ve been blown away by the brilliance of the music utilised in Fargo (especially season 2), Justified and Sense8.

So naturally, I’ve purchased some of those ‘music from TV’ cd’s and found myself disappointed at how dated they all are. No Orphan Black, Game of Thrones or Utopia (not a huge fan of electronic/house/dance/whatever that was but it was a REALLY effective soundtrack!) – in fact the most recent additions are usually Dawson’s Creek and Ally McBeal; which – no offence to the respective artists involved – hark back to my school days and are therefore more antique than cassettes*

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PODCAST – EP05 – Because of Buffy

Buffy-the-vampire-slayer

a.k.a. AhhhJossJossJoss

shona and tomShona and Tom recently recordedat The Vampire Ball – a convention to celebrate the worlds and works of Joss Whedon.

The dynamic duo take a moment to discuss and reflect upon the show that started it all (for us lot anyhoo!) – Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

After successfully identifying themselves as Willow and Xander (well duh guys, seriously!); the pair look at how this show changed their lives for the better; the cult of Whedon theme song (no really) and kitten poker as well as much much more!

Mobile Link

buffy full cast

Shona also mentioned my Buffy story (which you can read about HERE) which got me to thinking  (a dangerous pastime, I know!). So many of my con family have come together directly as a result of this oft derided and under-rated TV series.

What’s your ‘Because of Buffy‘ story?

We’d love to hear from you – how your life has changed ‘because of Buffy‘ – in big ways or small. If you’ve blogged or vlogged or podcast about it, let me know and I’ll get all linky with it!

what would buffy do

QUICK CHAT with Magda Apanowicz

Recently, the delightful Magda and I chatted about her upcoming SF project on Indiegogo – OmniWorld (have a listen here, if you wish!).


She’s nearly always smiling or laughing in person!

While I had her on the line, it seemed only right that we have a little catch up about her life, work and hobbies. We only had a few moments but still managed to fit in snippets about a ton of stuff including putting the final touches on Continuum’s final season and how hard it is to say goodbye to such awesome characters; learning accents (for roles mostly!); The Green Inferno – finally released after sitting in limbo for some time and cooking as a hobby.

Then we discover why people shouldn’t podcast while hungry as we sort of descend into food worship – PRO TIP there, lads!

[audio http://culturallyfixated.podbean.com/mf/play/4ghj8i/CultFix-Magda-catchup.mp3]

Also, Magda has agreed to be a CultFix Special Correspondent (like our very good friend Reed Diamond) – so hopefully we’ll be hearing more about her adventures soon!

magda

The Green Inferno Trailer

[youtube https://youtu.be/FcpYPu9M3bw]

CULTURALLY FIXATED

MINI-INTERVIEW – Magda Apanowicz talks about OmniWorld

Recently I came across a tweet promoting an Indiegogo project called –

OmniWorld – The Movie

When tragedy strikes a couple leaving one of them in a coma, the other is presented with the technology to reconnect the two lovers, but at what cost?

I was intrigued by the idea and, when I read further, realised that Culturally Fixated friend Magda Apanowicz is set to star!

magda eh

Naturally I asked her to share some behind the scenes info with us. We only had a ten minute chat but – as you imagine from two talkers – cover A LOT of ground.

omniworld

We chat about why Maggie Werning (the director) chose Indiegogo and what it’s like raising funds for a film this way.

Magda also gives us a basic run down of the plot and what it was in particular that drew her to the project. We then have a bit of a natter about science fiction; the role that technology plays in our lives and the impact of this upon us as individuals but also as a society and species.

Magda chats about pushing the boundaries within storytelling and acting. And then the two of us get deep and meaningful (read a bit paranoid) about the prospect of a real life Elysium; about the importance of human connection and harmony with technology.

As always, it’s a true pleasure nattering with Magda – she’s so genuine and funny and awesome.

This project is still raising funds for another week or so. If this sounds like something you’d like to support, head over to THIS page on Indigogo for contribution details!

Directed and written by: Maggie Werning

CULTURALLY FIXATED



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REWATCH – Angel – Spike and Andrew

This is one of my favourite scenes in the Buffyverse

Angel S05 EP11 Damages

I love that Spike – who clearly knows what’s to come – just stands there and lets Andrew hug him. Again. And Again.

Spike 01

Spike 02

He knows Andrew, they’re mates…of a sort… so he doesn’t make fun or put him down (later there’s a gentle jibe but more at Wesley than Andrew and it’s very good humoured).

Spike 03

Also, Angel’s face – watching one of the Sunnydale set just ADORE Spike like that. And no harm for the rest of the team to be reminded again that there are other opinions on Spike (than Angel’s).

Spike 04

Couldn’t find a gif with the ‘like Gandalf the white…’ line

Spike 05

Spike 06

It’s just so…Buffy. And frankly, Angel (the series) needed a bit of that.

MUSIC VIDEO – Killjoys theme song

The not-at-all photogenic Killjoys

The not-at-all photogenic Killjoys

Y’all know that I’m a sucker for a good theme song (memo to me – might be time for an updated TV Theme song playlist…). I’ve tolerated many a not-so-awesome show just because I enjoyed the music (and in fact I was predisposed AGAINST the most recent Star Trek tv series because of its dire theme song. A song. With LYRICS. For Star Trek. Ooooh I can feel the blood pressure rising already!).

Killjoys is a new Canadian* SF series – very Firefly meets Farscape – with a pleathora of SF references to keep the serial viewer happy (Red 17, ‘So say we all’). Also space ships, alien planets and shiny things…so it’s fair to say I’m likely to get hooked.

Killjoys spaceship space bounty hunters

BLURB

Killjoys follows a trio of hard-living but fun-loving bounty hunters – Dutch, John, and D’avin– taking on interplanetary missions, chasing and capturing deadly criminals throughout a distant system named the Quad.

They have sworn amongst themselves to remain neutral during a bloody, multi-planetary class war that threatens to destroy the Quad.

Additionally, Dutch and D’avin both have dark secrets in their past – secret even from themseleves – and which threaten to tear their team apart.

The theme track is written by show creator and writer Michelle Loveretta (Lost Girl) and *is performed by the Mahones (or a few of their members anyway) – an Irish Canadian punk-rock-folk group. called A Real Westerlyn.

No sign of the complete song just yet.

Theme

[youtube https://youtu.be/8i8QJ5-Dx3o]

Trailer

[youtube https://youtu.be/ST9OkLjTu9Q]

First 4 minutes

[youtube https://youtu.be/wbd2x6uJB_c]

*I know that I’m constantly harping on about it…and here I go again – I’m telling you – Canada is *the* place for new SF for TV. Sure, the production values aren’t always as high as on the US equivalents, but they have more heart and guts. Orphan Black, Continuum (not a perfect show but still), the good half of Haven (I kid) – some of my favourite shows of recent years have come out of the great north…the white north? That country there!

**I had originally posted this line about the Mahones but was corrected via comment. Thanks for the update Jeffrey!

VIDEO – Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S03 teaser 

Looking forward to this (more as a Marvel fan that a Whedon one of I’m honest) as it would seem are the majority of you – at least according to my little POLL here. 

VIDEO – The best sex ed video you’ll ever see

Thanks Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 

This is GENUIS! 

RE-WATCH – Buffy – A History of Viewing

Well, this has been the summer of the re-watch and no mistake. On top of our regular viewing…and one or two new shows, we’ve demolished Supernatural, Dollhouse, Game of Thrones, Cold Case, The Last Ship* (unwillingly on my behalf) and himself is currently introducing me to Northern Exposure – one of his favourites from the early 90’s (loving it, for the record).

It’s been a ton of fun. Last week however, I felt … weird. It’s probably a symptom of my on-going unintentional long-term rejection of sleep but I’ve found myself out of balance and out of touch with myself.

Clearly I needed a sort of psychic restorative. A pick me up for the soul if you will.

Enter from stage right – BUFFY.

Ever since 1992 when I piled into a cinema to profess my undying love for Luke Perry; I’ve loved Buffy. Now, I realise that the film isn’t…a natural Oscar contender. There are some seriously hokey scenes; totally daft dialogue; the clothes; some of the cheesiest vampires ever captured on celluloid and I can’t express my gratitude enough that they ditched the ‘I can sense vampires with my womb’ concept for the series – nevertheless; Buffy was a kick-ass heroine faced with the same crazy making world as me. What’s not to adore?

buffy film gif

It wasn’t until 1998 that I caught my first episode of the tv Buffy (‘The Pack’). Zimbabwean TV – the ZBC – had hit a relatively successful patch, but it was usually a few years (or decades) after something had aired in the US or UK before it reached our one-channel set. So those classmates with links to SABC (the South African broadcaster) or satellites were pretty much responsible for our cultural growth. A friend brought in a video recorded from the telly which was passed around my friend group.

buffy someone who cares

It was just so exciting for me to have SFF set for teens that wasn’t Star Trek. With a female lead, the same age as me. Who wore normal (if pretty stylish) outfits and had a mom and friends and classes and also MONSTERS! WITCHES! DEMONS! I must have watched that episode a dozen times, familiarizing myself with Willow, Xander and Giles. I didn’t head bang to the theme song though. That came later I recall!

There were other things going on at the time that probably helped my fixation develop. Around that time, my family decided to return to Ireland after a 7 years absence. I was just 16 and not a particularly mature one at that. Though I adored my family, I was leaving my home. It was a really disruptive period and though it was obviously a transitional one that resulted in many wonderful opportunities and relationships; it was tough on all of us.

buffy just a girl 2

We were barely back a week before I caught a re-run of the first season of Buffy on telly. To say that I clung to this one minimal link with the past reeeealllly understates my ability to over-think. Buffy in that moment became a constant for me. Something that was just mine and connected the two places I had called home at that point. After all, she had just moved and was starting over again too.

School in Ireland turned out to be like school anywhere. That first week though, was hilariously awful. Long practiced at walking around with one foot in my mouth; my ability to say the worst possible thing at the least opportune moment seemed to have magnified. It became clear that I would NEVER make any friends, that leaving Zimbabwe had been a HUGE mistake and my only chances at happiness were now GONE.**

buffy failure

Of course, this misery was short lived. I made a friend, then another until after a while, Ireland started to feel like a different sort of home. This process was greatly aided by my wonderful friend @Lainibop. She and I are very different people that just clicked. To this day, she is my heart and best self.

She also…had Sky. That meant that she got Buffy a half a million years before anyone else – and full episodes, not the butchered half hour/cancelled for snooker every second week as it seemed to be on terrestrial telly . The second that she learned how much the show meant to me, she recorded every episode of Buffy (and later Angel) for me to watch with her at weekends.

For four years.

What a friend, eh! She barely even knew me – it’s just who she is.

I really do Red

I really do Red

During that period, I settled in (good), cut my hair (not good), made some amazing life long friends (very good) and developed a crippling back condition (well, duh, does that sounds like a good?).

When I headed off to Leeds for uni, I carried with me my teddy George, a guitar and a rucksack, with my Buffy season 1 & 2 DVD box sets wrapped up in clothes (I actually bought the DVD’s in Ireland for uni – at this point I did not actually have access to a DVD player. Or a TV. At the time, that seemed quite normal – now I look back in awe and wonder at my little dork self!). For the most part, moving to the UK was terrific. There were ups and downs but at 19, I was more prepared for that. And at least I got away for uni – the poor old Buffster had to stick by the hellmouth…

And when things got rough, I just hid behind my Buffy…

Buffy continued to play a significant role in my life. During our ‘getting to know you’ wooing phase, himself and I watched the first 4 seasons in the course of a week (*eyes tear up with emotion*) – my first TV binge with a *boy*.

And then I grew up and left such silly obsessions behind me.

buffy grown up

Riiiight.

When Dollhouse aired, I finally cracked twitter and made some amazing friends from all over the world, with only one known common interest. Amazing! One of these friends convinced me to attend a convention (which I’ve blogged about before); thus opening a whole new aspect of fandom and friendship to me. Being a part of this world has been hugely positive for me – I’ve gained so much confidence in myself and in my passions.

Another twitter found friend – take a bow @FixatedOn – taught me about podcasting. He made me feel like what I had to say was interesting and funny, especially because it was niche, not despite that. Those two worlds collided beautifully when a Whedon guest at a convention gamely decided to record a podcast with me – you’re the best Reed.

buffy life lessons

Heck, Buffy is on my CV under interests and twice an interviewer has brought it up and we’ve ended up having a mini-geek-out, which is all sorts of cool.

No TV show can take the credit (or the blame) for me being the person that I am. The people in my life; the places that I’ve lived – these are what have shaped me. These are what I strive to emulate and live up to.

However, Buffy has been a uniquely placed marker for the different periods in my life. She has been a friend; a guide and sometimes a cautionary tale. We’ve laughed and cried and cringed together; sharing in successes and commiserating in our mistakes. And somehow found our respective places in the world***

buffy what would buffy do

*I’m pretty sure that I’ve forgotten a few here but in the interests of not outing myself as a utter tv addict; let’s ignore that right now.

**I can almost look back and laugh at the earnest drama queen tendencies of my teenage self…but it still stings just a little! Ooof, 16 was a HARD age!

***Which to be honest was tougher for me…I’m not fictional!

buffy i wear the cheese

SPEECH – to mark Leeds Pride

leeds-pride-logoWishing everyone at Leeds Pride a terrific day.

Here hoping that the weather holds and the party is epic!

You can catch up on the action by following the link #LeedsPride or send your updates to @LeedsPride

Today, I couldn’t help but think of the Sense8 character Nomi – who blogs in the second episode about why she attends pride.

Nomi Marks is a transgender hacktivist played by trans star Jamie Clayton – and has the distinction being one of the rare trans characters on television whose story lines do not revolve around that fact. It is part of her history, her background…but not the sole interesting aspect to her and does not direct the path the character takes across the first season.

Incidentally, one of the co-creators of Sense8 is Lana Wachowski – herself a transgender woman.

It’s a beautiful speech from a unique perspective and one that many people – from diverse backgrounds, irrespective of age, gender or race – have related to.

The Full Speech

Nomi:

I’ve been thinking about my life. And all of the mistakes that I’ve made. The ones that stay with me, the ones that I regret, are the ones that I made because of fear

For a long time I was afraid to be  who I am because I was taught by my parents there’s something wrong with someone like me. Something offensive. Something you would avoid maybe even pity. Something that you would never love.

My mom, she’s a fan of Saint Thomas of Aquinas. She calls pride a sin. Saint Thomas saw pride as the queen of the seven deadlies. She saw it as the ultimate gateway sin that would turn you quickly into a sinaholic.

But hating isn’t a sin on that list. Neither is shame. I was afraid of this parade because I wanted so badly to be a part of it. So today I’m marching for that part of me that was much too afraid to march. And for all the people who can’t march. The people living lives like I did. Today, I march to remember that I’m not just a me. I’m also a we. We march with pride.

(almost an aside) So go fuck yourself, Aquinas.