It's our last post of 2015! We want to take this time to thank you all for your support and a successful first year of the website. Christina and I couldn't continue this endeavor without your help and we are grateful for your listening to the podcast, visits to the website, and fervent participation in ALNM's first ever ship bracket. With your help, we've made it to a whopping 1,470 downloads as of today and were able to experience our first San Diego Comic-Con. So thank you, everyone. We look forward to all that the new year has in store for us! Have a safe and happy new year and we'll see you all in 2016!
Kelly and Christina
And now we return to our regularly scheduled programming.....
Let’s go back to: One Tree Hill
In September of 2003, a little show about two half-brothers living in the fictional town of Tree Hill, North Carolina premiered on what was then The WB. The dramatic lives of Lucas and Nathan Scott and their friends Brooke Davis, Haley James (later Haley James Scott), and Peyton Sawyer spanned for nine seasons on The CW and saw them through high school and adulthood. The show, which was created by Mark Schwahn (who now is known for The Royals on E!) was originally supposed to be a made-for-TV movie called An Unkindness of Ravens, but the TV show proved to be wildly successful. In the show, the brothers who started out as rivals soon became friends when Lucas's best friend Haley (played by Bethany Joy Lenz) fell in love with and later married Nathan Scott (James Lafferty)...while they were still in high school, no less. That coupling went on to create one of the greatest TV couples of all time: Naley. Lucas (played by Agent Carter's Chad Michael Murray) dated the hot cheerleader Brooke Davis (Chicago Fire's Sophia Bush) while they were in high school, but later married Peyton Sawyer (played by White Collar's Hilarie Burton) in the seventh season. The show, while it had its ups and downs, was great. To this day, one of the most intriguing episodes is one from its third season which involved all the characters caught in the middle of a school shooting at their high school. The episode, entitled "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept", still regarded as one of the best episodes dealing with gun violence in schools for young people. One Tree Hill had a lot of twists and turns, cast members coming and going, each episode named after a song title (just like the series name), and an iconic theme song that was definitely an earworm, but at the heart of it, it was about friendships that last a lifetime and it did a good job of conveying that message to the teenagers and young adults who grew up watching the show.
Why it means something to you or to our podcast: I think I've mentioned on episodes of the podcast how much I love this show. I remember watching the school shooting episode during my freshman year of college and that was the first episode I had ever seen. I remember thinking how powerful it was and how even though it was teaching us all a very important lesson, it was still done in a way that young people were kept interested and wanted to watch more of what happened to those characters in the aftermath of such a horrible tragedy. I started binge watching all the seasons and eventually started watching Season 4 in real time and fell in love with the show. Every summer I would hope that it got renewed and, by some miracle, it got renewed every year for five years. I watched the series finale with my friend (who I call P. Sawyer.....and she calls me B. Davis) and even though I knew the show had run its course, I was still sad to see it end.
Where can you find it now? iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix allow you to binge-watching this incredibly addictive teen drama, so make sure you check it out!
-- Kelly Lee
2016 is shaping up to be a major year at the theater. So save up those Fandango gift cards you got for Christmas now. We here at ALNM are providing you a guide to all the major films coming out the next twelve months.
February 5th: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- Bloody lovely
Probably one of the first fandom movies of the year, this film is based on the novel by Seth Graham-Smith. It encourages the dream that one day you too can adapt that crazy zombie AU fic into a feature film with Matt Smith. But seriously, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was surprisingly enjoyable on screen, so we look forward to seeing how Graham-Smith’s most successful novel is adapted.
February 12th: Deadpool -- With great power comes great irresponsibility
Ah, Deadpool. The film that has been over a decade in the making. Ryan Reynolds was originally linked to the role way back in 2004 and we were treated to a...different interpretation of the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The studio finally greenlit the project following positive online reaction to “leaked” CGI test footage. This film promises to be a return to the characters fourth wall breaking sassy R rated roots, and few actors today seem as excited about and dedicated to a role as Ryan Reynolds is about the smart mouthed assassin. We definitely expect a far different experience than we’ve gotten used to with comic book films. And that’s a good thing.
February 12th: Zoolander No. 2 -- Long time no Z
It’s been 15 long years and now Derek Zoolander and Hansel are modelling again when an opposing company attempts to take them out. The announcement of this movie is possibly one of the best when Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson stormed the runway at Paris Fashion Week 2015 as their Zoolander counterparts. The original film was such a hit that it is surprising that it took this long for a follow-up, but suffice it to say that we here at A Little Nerd Music are extremely excited about this film.
February 26th: Gods of Egypt -- All of Heaven is at war
In all honesty, this film made the list more because of its big budget nature and the controversy surrounding it. The film stars Gerard Butler, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Chadwick Boseman, Rufus Sewell, and Geoffrey Rush and we’re already starting to see a pattern here, aren’t you? How audiences react to yet another film taking place in ancient Egypt starring a cast that is nearly entirely white remains to be seen, especially with so many other options available at the box office this year.
It's the last Monday of 2015! Hang in there everyone, we're almost to the new year. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday and have a safe and happy new year! Here's our penultimate post of the year.
The Artist: Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie, Chewbacca, Admiral Ackbar, R2-D2, BB-8, C-3PO, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford
The Song: A Star Wars Medley
Where you heard it first: Just a few days before the release of the (soon-to-be) biggest movie of all time, Jimmy Fallon got its stars together on The Tonight Show and together with The Roots to perform an a capella version of some of the movie's most famous scores. I stumbled upon this on YouTube and could not have been more excited to share it with Christina and all my fellow Star Wars nerds.
Why it’s been stuck in your head: Between the two of us, Christina and I have now seen the new Star Wars movie four times and intend on going many more times, so of course, the main title score is permanently stuck in our heads. And how could you deny the musical genius of John Williams when he scores such amazing things as Jaws, Indiana Jones, Hook, Harry Potter, Superman, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, and Star Wars?
Why you recommend it to our listeners: If you need a fun way to break up your day, Jimmy Fallon's YouTube videos are always the way to go -- especially when you're still on a high from the amazingness that is Star Wars - Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
-- Kelly Lee
We're swapping the Fandom this Friday for Family. Kelly and I both wish you all a very Merry Christmas full of yuletide joy! -Christina
Let’s go back to: "December 24th, 9PM. Eastern Standard Time." Jonathan Larson's Tony Award winning musical Rent opens on Mark Cohen beginning work on his documentary on Christmas Eve. The show transports Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème to 1980s New York City. With its gripping characters struggling in ways previously unseen on the Broadway stage and a modern sounding rock soundtrack, Rent would become a special kind of Broadway phenomenon that is rarely seen.
Why it means something to you or to our podcast: Rent was the musical that truly got me into Broadway after seeing Adam Pascal perform "One Song Glory" on PBS. The music captured me in a way I hadn't felt before. It showed me for the first time how the musical form was something always moving forward and changing. This is why even as other amazing musicals come along, my heart will always draw me back to Rent.
Where can you find it now? The OBC album is available basically wherever music is sold, and the film adaptation is available on DVD and Netflix.
Episode 034 - “The Fandom Awakens”
Episode Length: 1:11:09
We are holding nothing back in our discussion of The Force Awakens. If you haven’t seen it yet, do not listen to this episode until you have!!
This is the quickest turnover time ever here at ALNM! In our thirty-fourth episode, we don’t care about anything else other than Star Wars: The Force Awakens! We skip Fandom News and go right into our obsessions with Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron. We talk about our love of the new cast: Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley, and John Boyega and all their media tour glory. Finally, we get into our favorite things about the new movie: the characters, parts of the plot, the funny one-liners, everything we can think of. You can tell that we really hated this movie, right? After yet another spoiler warning, we talk about THAT spoiler and what it means to us, to the fandom, and to the franchise. We talk about the casting of a woman and two men of color as the faces of the new generation and what it means to the fandom world and we even touch on the newest casting news: Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We congratulate our Episode MVPs: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and JJ Abrams for bringing it with the new movie and we share our favorite new ship: StormPilot Kelly also gives a little shout-out to her other favorite ship: Poe/BB-8 as the best new brOTP in the galaxy. Finally, we remind all you lovely listeners about the various platforms where you can follow us, tweet us, download our episodes, or contact us. Have a safe and happy holiday season and we will return with new episodes in 2016!
This week’s featured music:
"Main Title and the Attack on the Jakku Village" by John Williams
"The Jedi Steps and Finale" from Star Wars: The Force Awakens by John Williams
STAR WARS - EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS (SPOILER-FREE) REVIEW....and yes, we promise it's SPOILER-FREE
What Is It: The Force Awakens is the seventh film in the ongoing Star Wars saga. It picks up 30 years after the events of 1983's Return of the Jedi where the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker has gone missing and the First Order has taken over and they are desperate to find and destroy him. General Leia Organa has the help of the Republic behind her as she sends her best pilot to the desert planet of Jakku in search of her missing brother.
My experience: Yes, I'm one of those people who saw this movie in costume on opening night and I had been waiting for this momentous occasion for years. In case you haven't already guessed from our entire episode devoted to Star Wars, it is one of my favorite movies of all time. Seeing this movie opening night with all the fans is truly an experience that cannot be described. From cheering filling the theatre at the sight of the opening logos to the genius music of John Williams and the opening crawl, excitement never dwindled. There were cheers for the return of old characters like Han Solo and Chewbacca as well as excitement for the new characters like Rey, Poe, Finn, and little BB-8. By the time the climax of the movie happened, the entire theatre was at the edge of their seats, anxious to see what would happen next. And, of course, when the film finally ended, no one wanted it to. Now we just can't wait for the next one.
Why You Should See It: The Force Awakens is already smashing box office records: most tickets sold on Fandango ever, biggest opening night, fastest from $100M to $200M, and, of course, highest grossing opening weekend. It blew the record previously held by this summer's Jurassic World out of the water and is now poised to be the highest grossing movie of all time. It has currently made $238 million in the US alone and $517 million worldwide. If that's not impressive enough, just talk to your friends, co-workers, and fellow nerds and they are sure to tell you that it will not disappoint. The Force Awakens had so many hopes riding on it and in my personal opinion, J.J. Abrams did his best to please the fans and it has been well-received. We were not only flocking to the theatre this weekend, but some of us are already going back for our second, third, and even FOURTH viewings of the movie. Suffice it to say that this holiday season, this is the movie that everyone at your family dinner will be talking about. If you haven't seen it yet, you're bound to get it spoiled or be shunned at family dinners.
The Future: Disney has really taken the Star Wars franchise and run with it, promising to release a new adventure every year until at least 2019. The first spin-off film Star Wars: Rogue One is due out next year on December 16, 2016. It is directed by Godzilla director Gareth Edwards and stars Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), and Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels' The Butler). And in only 521 days, Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released on the 40th anniversary of the release of A New Hope. It will be written and directed by Looper's Rian Johnson. We wish him the best of luck. J.J. Abrams really hit it out of the park. We can also look forward to Episode XI and a Han Solo origin story already in the works.
The Artists: Bing Crosby and David Bowie
The Song: "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy"
The YouTube Link:
Where you heard it first: My mother probably played it for me at some point when I was little. The advent of YouTube however brought me the magical video above which includes the cheesy 70's Christmas special banter.
Why it’s been stuck in your head: This is one of my holiday favorites. The combination of these two artists should be completely bonkers, but it works. I especially enjoy the stories of how the duet came to be.
Why you recommend it to our listeners: It's one of the relatively newer holiday classics that should be found in every holiday playlist ever.
THE FORCE AWAKENS TODAY!
The highly-anticipated seventh installment in the Star Wars Saga opens in theatres today! Go see it!!
Let’s go back to: Love Actually
In 2003, a little Christmas movie was released that was this ALNM co-hosts first R-rated movie when she turned 17. Love Actually tells ten separate stories of different types of love as they play out leading up to the Christmas holiday in England. The movie is directed by Richard Curtis, director of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones' Diary, and Notting Hill....just to name a few. The movie stars more A-list actors than we can keep track of (many of whom went on to even bigger and better things): Rowan Atkinson, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Colin Firth, Martin Freeman, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Andrew Lincoln, Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, and Billy Bob Thornton. Throughout the telling of these ten stories, the viewer comes to find that somehow, they are interwoven with each other and each character somehow comes in contact with someone from another story. The film ends with an epilogue set one month after Christmas where each character is at the arrivals gate at London Heathrow Airport meeting someone from their story.
Why it means something to you or to our podcast: Next week is Christmas and what better way to spend this weekend but to cuddle up and watch a fun Christmas movie? This is my best friend's favorite movie and I look forward to having our annual viewing of it this weekend, too. If Christmas isn't so much your thing, you can also enjoy the little cameos and see how far some of these familiar faces have come. Also, this movie has some great quotable moments. And everybody worships it because it's heaven! (See what I mean?)
Where can you find it now? iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix are all sure to have it and I bet if you ask a friend, you'll be able to find someone with the DVD too.