5 Fandom Friday :: Give Me Your Closet!

5fandomfriday

Have you ever been watching a movie or tv, enjoying your day, and see a character with an outfit so spectacular you’re distracted by how bad you want it for the rest of the day? No? Just me? Oh well. Fashion is one of the many things that make me want to fly my nerd flag high. I love shopping, pretty dresses, accessories, and shoes. Best of all, I take a lot of my real life fashion inspiration from my favorite characters! That’s why this 5 Fandom Friday is perfect for me! It’s characters with my favorite fashion!

There are a lot of very stylish characters out there, but I chose my list based on characters that best match my style and who’s closet I’d happily steal.

Spencer Hastings ((Pretty Little Liars))

All of the main characters on Pretty Little Liars are responsible for giving girls unrealistic expectations of what an average closet looks like. How do they get the money to buy so many outfits? They’re in high school! None of them have jobs! They haven’t worn a single shirt twice! Isn’t that kind of a waste? Whatever. Let’s overlook these burning questions and focus on Spencer, the character who’s style I like the best.

Dammit Spencer! How do you look so fab? She mixes vintage finds like tweed jackets and lace tops with classic pieces to create a smart girl chic look. And she can rock a sweater. Sweaters are the greatest! And the high socks! Come on Spencer, give me access to your closet!

Clara Oswald ((Dr. Who))

Clara continuously rocks what I call “Teacher Chic.” The perfect mix of business casual, stylish, and showing your personality. Being a short girl, I always head towards cute dresses rather than pants, so the hems don’t drag on the floor. Clara seems like she definitely relates. Her style of darling dress and jacket combos are exactly what I want to wear everyday to work. I’m not sure if they’re very practical for running around with the Doctor, but they’re pretty great for everyday wear.

Margaery Tyrell ((Game of Thrones))

Margaery for Queen of Westeros! Not, just married to the king, but the one destined for the Iron Throne. Think of how much better the realm would be under her rule and the advisory of the Queen of Thorns. And not just will everyone in the kingdom be so much happier, but they’d be way more stylish too. They say if you got it, flaunt it, and damn, does Margaery got it. The daring cuts, calming colors, and flowery details make her stand out as the most fabulous woman in Westeros. I would covet her wardrobe for all my formal events.

Cosima ((Orphan Black))

They may be clones, but Cosima has the best style by far. I love her dark, jewel tone color scheme and fearlessness to rock bold geometric patterns. Her accessories are my favorite parts of her outfits; she’s always seen with cool beaded bracelets or scarves. I love me some scarves!

Her ensembles are edgy, but still appropriate for work or school. I would raid her closet any day!

Amy Pond ((Dr. Who))

Another companion, but at totally different look. Amy’s outfits are the ones I wish I had while kicking back on the weekend with my friends. She makes flannel look chic! Her signatures are bold colors and lots of layering, perfect for adjusting to wherever time or space she may end up.

And I wish I had her hair so so bad.


As always, 5 Fandom Friday is brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. Follow them to participate!

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5 Fandom Friday :: All About the Dads

5fandomfridayWow, my blog is entirely 5 Fandom Fridays! Being two weeks into a new job does not leave much time to write interesting blog posts, but I try my hardest to make time for these fun prompts. Which leads me to this week’s 5FF! Last month we celebrated the great moms in books and television, so it seems justly so that we do the same for our Favorite Fictional Fathers! This list resonates with me especially because my own father has been so influential in my nerdiness. He fueled my Pokemon card addiction and once drove me through the boonies while on vacation to get a midnight release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Obviously my dad is the best, but here are some fictional dads that are pretty great too!

Tywin Lannister

Is it a little weird that the first dad I thought about for this was Game of Throne’s Tywin Lannister? He’s definitely not winning any Father of the Year award. But his character is fascinating! He may not necessarily like his children, but understands they are his children nonetheless. He understands the power of family ties… maybe? He will pull whatever strings necessary to ensure his family survives, even if that includes murderous dinner parties. Even in the trial of his youngest son, Tyrion, when it seemed like everyone was on a witchhunt, Tywin had the court in the palm of his hands to ensure that the worst that could happen would be banishment to the Wall. Tyrion may have blew that one though. Despite his cruelty, Tywin is by far one of my favorite characters in the Song of Ice and Fire series due to his unequivocal intellect and strategy, as well as remaining cool as a cucumber while single-handedly ruling an entire kingdom. He also delivers some biting quotes.

My favorite Tywin quote because it accurately sums up my problem with Cersei.

Let’s not forget how in the show, HBO made a great decision of replacing Roose Bolton with Tywin at Harrenhall in Season 2, so that he could take Arya under his wing. His best parenting moments are probably with her. Perhaps Arya is the child he’d wished he had?


Arthur Weasley

Just look at him! He’s so lovable! Like his wife Molly, Arthur worked hard to raise seven kids, making ends meet at a job where no one acknowledged his efforts. His heart is big enough to also be a father figure for Harry and to love his son Percy even when he was being a little turd. Through his fascination with Muggles, Arthur reminds us not to fear what we don’t understand; instead, find out more about it. Ask questions! Take it apart! More of us should live with the same wonderment as Mr. Weasley; we’d have so much compassion for all the different people in this world.


Jean Valjean

Jean Valjean never intended to be a father. He had a lot on his plate with being the mayor of a town, hiding his true identity, and running from the law and all. But when he rescues the young Cosette on behalf of Fantine’s dying words, being a father to her becomes his one true calling. At times, Valjean can be a bit of a helicopter parent, but it’s for Cosette’s best interest. If anyone finds out who he is, he could be arrested and no longer give her the comfortable life he has promised her. This is such a sacrifice and so much is at stake. What makes Valjean such a good father is that he realizes he can’t hold on to his daughter forever. Once he realizes that Cosette is truly in love with Marius, he risks everything to bring them together because her happiness is what ultimately matters to him.


Hans (Papa) Hubermann

The Book Thief is a novel guarantee to make me bawl my eyes out. And a lot of that has to do with the relationship between Papa and his adopted daughter Liesel. When they first meet, Liesel has been torn away from her mother and home, and therefore is sullen and despondent. Papa manages to crack that exterior shell and create a safe haven for her among the terror of Nazi Germany. Most importantly, he teaches her how to read and lights the spark for her voracious appetite for books. Like many of these great fictional fathers, Hans has a steadfast moral compass and speaks up for what is right. This compassion allows him to touch the hearts of all who meet him.


Red Forman

Oh Red, the curmudgeon with a heart of gold. It’s hard to get my head around how such a hardass could be married to someone as sweet as Kitty. Regardless, together they make a great parenting team. 95% of the time, Red is surly to everyone around him, but despite his outward appearance, he is willing to do what’s best for those he cares about. He definitely subscribes to the tough love method of parenting with his son Eric, and he usually motivates others by threatening to stick his foot up their ass, but it has helped Eric and his group of friends become a relatively well adjusted group of young adults. He would hate the fact that he has worked his way into the hearts of all That 70s Show viewers.


As always, 5 Fandom Friday is brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick. Follow them to participate!

Game of Thrones Podcasts :: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Can you believe it?! The halfway point of Game of Thrones Season 5 is already here. And things are bigger, badder, and crazier than ever! Over these five seasons, we’ve met so many larger than life characters, traveled to new lands, and been entrenched in devious plots and motives. Even for the biggest fan, things can get a bit confusing. How does this superfan keep things straight? Well, it’s no secret that I LOVE podcasts, and it just so happens there are hundreds of GoT recap and theory podcasts out there. By tuning in after each episode, it really helps to refresh what just happened and make insane predictions for what that means. Unfortunately, with a zillion of these podcasts out there, there are bound to be some that aren’t pulling the weight of this epic series.

So naturally, some research had to be done.

Since I have an abundance of free time, in addition to catching up with some tried and true recaps, I listened to the past few episodes of the ten most popular Game of Thrones podcasts on iTunes. Some were hilarious, others informative, one mind-numbingly boring, and some made you wonder how why they were even recording a podcast if they couldn’t even keep track of the names of major characters. What was most important to me was knowledge and enthusiasm. Do the hosts know what the hell they’re talking about? They better. Can they help make sense of the narrative—why did the showrunners decide to do that? Can they enhance the story even more through book knowledge? Do they actually enjoy doing all this? Hopefully these reviews will help you decide which ones to delve into and which ones to avoid like greyscale. As the next half of the season builds up steam and shit starts to hit the fan, you’re going to be glad you have them.


A Cast of Kings

Hosts: David Chen and Joanna Robinson

Spoilers: No! And they’re really conscious to give listeners who want to stay pure that experience.

Knowledge: 4 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 5 out of 5

A Cast of Kings is one of my go-to sources for all things A Song of Ice and Fire. Joanna Robinson is the encyclopedica book reader and David Chen is the voice of the naïve show watcher (not that all show watchers are naïve, just clueless David). Because of this dynamic, these two don’t just review everything in the episode, but make it so much more. Any question you may have, David is able to think of it and ask it and Joanna is not only able to provide a satisfactory answer, but also provide lore from the book that makes the worlds of Westeros and Essos much more tangible. This is the only GoT podcast that I’ve listened to that aims to bring book readers and show watchers to one happy, coexisting space. Yet, they make an extremely honest effort to not spoil anything beyond what has aired. My god! Joanna Robinson is a saint for resisting all the foreshadowing and internet conspiracy that she knows! Joanna and David also have deep experience in film and entertainment, so they’re able to shed light on the production value and directing of each episode.  A Cast of Kings is fun, informative, and absolutely crucial to your Game of Thrones watching experience.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Gold Dragons


A Storm of Spoilers

Hosts: Joanna Robinson, Da7e Gonzalez, and Neil Miller

Spoilers: Absolutely

Knowledge: 5 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 5 out of 5

In conjunction to A Cast of Kings, Joanna Robinson also cohosts this no holds back spoiler podcast. Nothing is off limits for Joanna, who has read all the books multiple times, Neil, who has read all the books and fallen down the rabbit hole of internet forums, and Da7e (yes, that’s his name), who hasn’t read the books, but is eager to know all there is in this universe. Storm of Spoilers is A Cast of Kings on crack. They’re not so much as interested in recapping the episode as they are taking it, flipping it on its head, dissecting it, comparing it to the books, coming up with ludicrous theories, and sadly, determining who’s probably going to die by the end of the season. This is the true superfan’s podcast!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Vengeful Aryas


Game of Thrones: The Podcast

Hosts: Jim and A. Ron of Bald Moves

Spoilers: Sometimes, it depends on what broadcast you listen to.

Knowledge: 3 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 3 out of 5

This Bald Moves podcast delivers a pretty solid recap, but doesn’t expand upon George R.R. Martin’s world like some of the better ones do. What makes this one special is the many different perspectives they have to offer. There’s the Instant Take, where they give their immediate feedback to the episode, the regular spoiler-free episode, and the SpoiLORE episode, in which A. Ron goes balls to the wall with theories. Another thing I really like about this cast is how involved they are with listener feedback. A pretty large section is devoted to reading and answering listener questions. This well-worth the listen if you have time, but if you don’t there are more enthusiastic and fanatical ones out there.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Direwolves


Game of Thrones: Tower of Babble Breakdown

Hosts: Daniel D’Souza and Julian Meush

Spoilers: I don’t think so…

Knowledge: 3 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 1 out of 5

By the old gods and the new! This podcast was soooo boring! Could they be any less excited about what they’re talking about? I tried listening to two episodes, but ended up spacing out halfway through both of them. From what I got, the two hosts seem to have a basic knowledge of GoT lore, but nothing more than surface level of the episodes. If you want a recap, you’re better off just rewatching the episode instead of listening to this.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 Iron Island Kingsmoots


Game of Owns

Hosts: Zack Luye, Micah Tannenbaum, and Eric Scull

Spoilers: Yes, but they try not to be obvious.

Knowledge: 4 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 4 out of 5

I listened to three whole episodes before it clicked. These are some familiar voices from Mugglecast, a Harry Potter podcast, and another one of my favorites, #Millenial! So naturally, the bar was set very high. But Game of Owns totally delivers! All hosts are highly entrenched in the show, and it seems that at least one of the hosts has read the books multiple times and serves to bridge that gap. Out of all the podcasts I’ve listened to, Game of Owns cuts the deepest into the events of the show, however, because so much detail is paid towards it, they have to cut each tv episode into two podcast shows. I just want to listen to everything at once! But by far my favorite part of this cast is the Owns; listeners write in to contribute the most badass character of the previous episode. Game of Owns is a great mix of comedy and knowledge, and I can’t believe it wasn’t part of my listening repertoire beforehand!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Badass Sand Snakes


 A Game of Thrones Podcast from LSG Media

Hosts: Jessica and Dean, whoever the hell they are.

Spoilers: No, they can’t even get character names right.

Knowledge: 1 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 4 out of 5

Whoof, this podcast is a hot mess. But what they get devastatingly wrong, is made up for with enthusiasm! That’s what really counts…? Seriously though, if you’re looking to learn more about Game of Thrones, don’t listen to this podcast; they can’t keep any of the characters straight, have forgotten what happened in past episodes, and future predictions are just insane. Not to mention, what annoys me the most is that they’re not Team Tyrell. Come on! Margaery is packing all the punches and Mace is a comic genius. One plus is that they realize that this is obviously a mature show and likewise, their audience has no problem with tits and wine, so they deliver the bawdiness that should be expected. Other than that, it’s a basic biddy talking about her lady boner towards Littlefinger (ok, ok, I don’t blame her).

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 King Joffreys (whom we love to hate)


 

Afterbuzz TV’s Game of Thrones Aftershow

Hosts: Various

Spoilers: Yes + Insider Info

Knowledge: 3 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 4 out of 5

Out of all the podcasts I listened to, The Game of Thrones Aftershow probably has the biggest production value of the bunch. It is part of a larger platform called Afterbuzz TV, which provides aftershows for hundreds of shows, but just because it isn’t a passion project coming from someone’s basement, doesn’t mean that these hosts aren’t any less of superfans. A shifting group of hosts unfortunately doesn’t foster an intimate connection to the voices in your ears, but it offers many different perspectives so you’re not constantly in the same mindset. I also enjoy how they choose to get into the mind of characters, determining why they would do something as people, as opposed to that’s just how the show runners wanted it to be. Because of its larger network, the Game of Thrones Aftershow is also able to bring you video in addition to the podcast, as well as interview cast and crew from the show. On the most recent episodes, one of the hosts had just returned from the set! This is the podcast for those who are not just interested in what happened on the show, but what goes into making an entire series.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Valyrian Steel Swords


Game of Microphones

Hosts: Grace, David, and Jason

Spoilers: Yes

Knowledge: 4 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 3 out of 5

Another very solid, enjoyable podcast! If I could give it a distinct vibe, I’d say Game of Microphones is the GoT podcast that caters towards the older crowd. I have no solid facts to back that up; I can’t even recall if they said anything specific to make me think that way. Some of the others feel very distinctly hosted by millennials for millennials, but this one seems like hey, the kids are in bed, let’s enjoy some sexy medieval fantasy too! Two of the hosts are book readers, giving the discussion a strong foundation, and all have keen enough minds to read deeper into the events of the episode. What makes Game of Microphones unique is that instead of covering each event in the order they happened in the show, they count down their top five insane GoT moments to talk about. If you want a no frills, straight to the meat podcast, this one is for you.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Kings in the North


Podcast Winterfell

Hosts: Matt Murdick and Friends

Spoilers: Yes, but only in the second half.

Knowledge: 3 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 3 out of 5 

Sports radio for Game of Thrones fans! I have to admit, when the show opened, I had my doubts about this podcast; here were a bunch of dudes with heavy New York accents, some talking through the grainy call-in of a phone. I thought oh no, this is going to be a testosterone-fueled commentary on boobs and violence. Good news! Not even close! In this round table discussion, half of which is spoiler-free, half for book readers, the hosts are surprisingly intuitive and knowledgeable. In addition to their regular recap show, they have a separate live call-in show, where listeners and fans can call in and join in on the discussion. The whole thing is strongly reminiscent of driving around with my dad and listening to sports talk on the radio, only instead of football, they’re talking about the Night’s Watch and dragons.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Dothraki Khalasars


Boars, Gore, and Swords

Hosts: Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott—supposedly standup comedians.

Spoilers: No. They don’t know squat.

Knowledge: 2 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 2 out of 5

Ugh, this was the worst! More like “bores,” gore, and swords. Am I right? They basically talked about everything EXCEPT Game of Thrones; the new Star Wars, Speed Racer, name dropping random people and actors I don’t know. And when they finally did talk about the show, they butchered names and doled out misleading and wrong information. This was terrible, avoid!

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 Manhoods Chopped Off and Fed to the Goats


Does anyone listen to GoT podcasts? What are some of your favorites? Do you disagree with my ratings?—If so, TRIAL BY COMBAT!