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October 9, 2015

My post-Comic-Con report, part two

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jul 29th 2008 4:43PM
tv squad backpack(Check out part one of this four-part report)


Morning was weird, as I was still on east-coast time. My alarm was set for 7 AM, but I was wide-awake by 5:30. I was scheduled to go to an X-Box breakfast that morning, but I was getting freaked out that I'd miss getting in to wait for the Stargate panels, most of which I was saving for Rich but I knew would be incredibly popular and busy. Thankfully I made the right decision -- the line for Ballroom 20 was already insane by the time I arrived.

As I waited for Ballroom 20, I saw another line creeping up the patio outside. I learned that this was just a glimpse of what to expect with waiting for panels in the enormous Hall H, as the line I saw was for the popular Watchmen panel. Trust me, part of me was jealous I wasn't in that line to see the new footage.

I knew that we had to stake a claim in Ballroom 20 for the day, as there were incredibly popular shows appearing in there all day besides Stargate, including Joss Whedon with the cast of Dr. Horrible, Bones and Family Guy.

I was able to get another break mid-day and actually have some semblance of nourishment other than a granola bar. Since I was holed up in Ballroom 20, I wasn't able to get in line to see Ghost Hunters, and that room was already packed full with a line stretching way around the corner, all to get in to wait for the Dr. Horrible sing-a-long later that night.

To be honest, I wasn't keen on attending the Ghost Hunters panel anyway. The 'Con program had Jason and Grant scheduled for the panel, but I was told by Sci Fi that only Rob would be in attendance. Sorry, but any questions I had for the show I had for Jason and Grant, not Rob.

By the way, I wore a TV Squad t-shirt on my backpack nearly he entire time at Comic-Con (pictured above-right). Nobody seemed to notice.

During this break I was finally able to meet the elusive Wil Wheaton at his booth as he was signing books. I took advantage of him not knowing what I looked like and the scene went something like this:

Me: "Mr. Wheaton? I'm a huge fan."
Wil: "Well thank you."
Me: "Can you sign one of these books for me please?"
Wil: "Of course. What's your name?"
Me: "Keith McDuffee."
Wil: "... you bastard."

Obviously I'm not as clever as I'd like to think I am, since Wil told me I wasn't the first to pull that on him that weekend. Oh well, I had fun.

The ABC Family Party

I went to check out the line for 24 and Prison Break, and my heart sank. There was no way in hell I was getting in to see those panels, and because there were hugely-popular panels coming after those, I was shite out of luck. I took it as a sign that I should attend the ABC Family party instead, which I'd been invited to but wasn't sure I'd make, due to these panels. Well, that was taken care of.

I highly underestimated the ABC Family party. It was held at the Omni hotel, out on a terrace about six stories up. Drinks were on the house and, of all things, they had a freakin' tortellini-and-cheese bar, with condiments like crab, pancetta, truffles and short ribs. I'll find out later that these odd bars aren't uncommon.

As I'm checking out the t&c bar, Matt Dallas of Kyle XY comes over and checks it out with me. I have to admit that was pretty wild to start things out talking with the guy about tortellini and truffles and not some formal red-carpet interview. So, I took advantage of it before anyone else showed up and we got to talking.

We discussed what to expect next season, and Matt was pretty silent on anything that might be spoiler territory. For example, I asked if the show is heading toward Smallville territory, where Kyle is just going to continue picking up more powers as the show evolves, and Matt just smiled and said he couldn't say. He had nothing but very nice things to say about Marguerite MacIntyre (Nicole Trager) and how amazing she is personally and as an actress. I agreed that she's one of the best TV moms I've seen in recent memory.

One thing I said to Matt was that I was glad to be able to talk to him in person because I got a better sense of how different he speaks and acts from his Kyle character. Kyle, I said, acts very child-like and his dialogue gives that impression to the point I thought Dallas might actually speak that way. Definitely not so, and he was happy to hear me say that, of course. He just acts the part very well.

As I'm talking to Matt, a photographer for ABC Family was snapping away like mad. I guess these actors are really used to that sort of thing, but man it felt weird.

I also got a bit distracted by a pair of incredible legs standing at the bar across the way, which I quickly found belonged to Stacy Keibler (she'll be on Samurai Girl). The funny part of this story is that former TV Squad writer Ryan Budke was there at the party as well, and he wrote this post two years ago. Thankfully he didn't do anything nuts. Unfortunately (and fortunately for her), she left before either of us could talk to her.

Finally I let go of Matt's ear and spoke with the people at ABC Family, who were extremely accommodating in getting me talking to a number of other people from shows on the channel, including Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, who are both working on the new series Samurai Girl (as well as Life on Mars, though not for ABC Family). These two guys were great to speak with, as they were also responsible for a couple of great shows I used to watch: Alias and Fastlane. Appelbaum -- if you ever get the chance to speak with him -- is crazily passionate about these shows. Unfortunately he wasn't around to talk to me much, but Nemec had lots to say.

Nemec stressed that Life on Mars will be its own show, not to be thought of as a true, full translation of the UK version of the series. He did say that he has an "end game" all drawn up and ready, and it's different than the UK version. Of course, he wouldn't tell me what it was (honestly I didn't try too hard to get it out of him). He did say that they can insert that end-game episode at any point, really, so they will not be leaving fans hanging, should the show not get a greenlight past a certain amount of episodes.

The subject of October Road came up at one point, as the two had written for that show as well. It was said by the guys something along the lines of "and we write for that crappy show, October Road." Nemec did say that they want to put out a short 15-minute segment somehow that ties up one piece of the story that fans have been pissed about (the paternity of the kid on the show), but it wasn't certain that would happen yet. And no, he wouldn't tell me that spoiler, either.

Later, Jaimie Alexander (Jessie, Kyle XY) came by to us and talked a bit. I'll just say that she is FUN. We didn't talk about the show at all and just talked about tattoos a while; she has several of them, clearly blotted out for the show. She has one on her wrist (I believe that's where it was) with initials, and two others.

Jaimie introduced us to Shawn Hlookoff, who sings the song 'She Could Be You' from the show. Shawn's from Canada, planning to move down to LA and for good reason -- his songs will be featured in Kyle XY and Samurai Girl, most likely others to follow. Shawn was very approachable and just a genuine nice guy. I think he was there with Jaimie, but he said they were "just friends." Uh huh.

Lastly I got to talk to Julie Plec, supervising producer and writer for Kyle XY. I want to thank Julie for the great conversation we had about television writing, what it takes to write for these shows and her experience in the business. I wound up talking to Julie the next day, which I'll mention later.

That's pretty much the end of the second day. In part three I'll talk about the final panels I attended and the party later that night, which was unreal.

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Where was The Middleman at ABC Family? If they were not there - that isn't a good sign.

August 04 2008 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mary's comment

I thought that was weird as well, Mary. They had no answer for it.

August 04 2008 at 10:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good info! I saw that Stacy Keibler was going to be there and saw some pics of her at all the events and she was working her legs! I remember her on Dancing with the stars and she was fit for sure. I can't wait to her working it out on Samurai Girl!

August 01 2008 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What's struck me in video interviews with Matt Dallas is that his actual voice in person is so different from Kyle. His natural voice is animated and soft-spoken, but for Kyle he does this deep monotone thing to underline the alien-ness of his character. And, I'm sorry to say, I think the producers make him "butch up" his voice for Kyle.

July 31 2008 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where is the coverage of Wizards of Waverly Place???

July 29 2008 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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