Monthly Archives: June 2011

In an alternate universe: Event 2

In an alternate universe, the majority of people running for political office actually know what they are doing, and seek office to help the public, instead of the opposite being true.

In an alternate universe: Event 1

This is the first of a new series of posts on this, our blog, in which we will put forth possible events that might exist in an alternate universe. Behold!

In an alternate universe, the Harry Potter series ends with an army of wizards from America descending on the scene, defeating Voldemort, and saving the day.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 68

The only way you would be able to join a “biker gang” is if you got together a group of people who used hand pedaling bicycles.

The reason to watch “Dark Shadows”

Those of our avid readers following the @nerdodyssey Twitter feed in recent days may have noticed several tweets regarding Dark Shadows, a 1960s supernaturally-themed television soap opera about vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and witchcraft.

One might ask why a person born during the Reagan administration would bother streaming this show from Netflix in the first place, let alone multiple episodes, as I have done.  Until I first viewed the show, I too would have wondered the same thing.  However, after viewing the first 27 episodes out of 160 currently available on Netflix (of more than 1,000 episodes filmed over the life of the show), I now see the light.  You see folks, the answer is simple:

It’s hilarious.

In today’s age of film and television, sparkling vampires subject their food to unhealthy codependent relations that culminate in marriage; werewolves run around without shirts for no apparent reason, or play lacrosse while trying to keep their hormones in check to prevent their transformation.  Children growing up in this age of Twilight and MTV’s version of Teen Wolf, which has more in common with The Hills than anything else, are being deprived of a long-held tenant: vampires and werewolves are supposed to be scary villains.  Yes, vampires have long had a seductive quality to them, but lest we forget, their seduction techniques existed so they could FEED on people.  Even Joss Whedon’s Buffy series acknowledges this, while inserting love stories into the plots. In that fictional universe, when “vampires with souls” fell in love, people end up dying.

What does this have to do with Dark Shadows?

Put simply, it melds the “evil vampire” and “simpering vampire” approaches to create a creepy, sometimes scary vampire, who is also completely incompetent.  In Barnabas Collins, vampire predator preying on the distantly related Collins family, you have a creature of the night capable of terrifying stares, subtle threats disguised as charm, and cold-blooded, deadly violence.

However, as Dark Shadows was a soap opera, its serialized format, broken into 20 minutes of actual episode footage, coupled with it being filmed live with no room for error on the parts of cast or crew (and a need for romantic story arcs), created a unique comedic aspect to the show.  Every episode began with a nonsensical narration that makes Jerry Springer’s “final thoughts” seem like Shakespeare by comparison.  Not only would actors would screw up or forget lines entirely, but the crew would make mistakes, allowing everything from crew members to boom mics and even the cameras themselves to enter frame.

From a writing standpoint, Barnabas would often go on long soliloquies about architecture or the pleasantries of candlelight, which would annoy other characters and make him seem more nerdy and weird than scary.  Due to the serialized nature of the show, it would take several episodes for the “evil” vampire to carry out any scheme, which made him seem about as cunning as one of Bravo’s Real Housewives.

Perhaps this was the first step toward the ridiculousness that would later allow for the Twilight scourge, but its level of unintentional “campness” can’t help but bring laughter.

At top of the post is a compilation of bloopers, which illustrate why this show is just downright funny. I recommend watching all 9 minutes 44 seconds.  I especially like the clip of Barnabus referring to his cousin, “Uncle Jeremiah.”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 67

When most people in your high school were listening to Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock, you were making futile attempts to get your friends to listen to Jethro Tull, saying things like, “Ian Anderson’s flute solo is mind-blowing.”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 66

You wish life were like comic books, thereby allowing you to retcon awkward conversations with the opposite sex in social situations so you can seem more charming.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 65

After viewing the trailer for the remake of Fright Night, you looked up and purchased the song featured in it because you thought it was catchy and brooding. So, you now own My Turn to Evil by Letters Vs. Numbers (even though you had never heard of Letters Vs. Numbers).

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 64

Your idea of the personification of “the wise old man” is Mako, rather than anyone you actually know in real life.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 63

You find Jon Benjamin Has a Van on Comedy Central very amusing, partially because you keep thinking of Archer on FX whenever Jon Benjamin speaks, which is probably why (during interview segments) you expect the man to start declaring that he’s the world’s greatest spy and complain about how he doesn’t know the identity of his father.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 62

When you are unable to get a certain novel from, you have the book shipped from Great Britain, via Amazon UK.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 61

You’ve had the following thought at least once: “Comic Con might be a great place to meet women.”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 60

Each time you come across the word, “nexus,” you immediately think of Star Trek: Generations.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 59

Unpacking old boxes gives you an asthma attack, thanks to the dust.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 58

While viewing Super 8 at a movie theater, the trailer for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 came on-screen, causing you to stifle both the urge to laugh and the urge to groan in sheer annoyance.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 57

Part of you wishes you’d taken chemistry in college, just so you would have had the opportunity to yell, “Chlorophyll?! More like ‘bore-ophyll!'”

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 56

You’ve read and adored Greg Egan’s Permutation City. If Egan’s work isn’t considered “hard sci-fi,then the term doesn’t really exist.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 55

You’ve seen the 1980s film, The Monster Squad many times, and you’re very aware of what the Wolfman’s got because of it.

Nerd Odyssey now tweets…

We have now linked our Twitter account to this, our beloved blog. By clicking on the “Nerd Odyssey Twitter” heading on the right side of the page, you can check out our tweets, or search Twitter for @nerdodyssey.

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 54

In 2005, when you saw the Ethan Hawke/ Lawrence Fishburne version of Assault on Precinct 13 in a movie theater, a conversation not unlike the following occurred:

You: “I thought the original was much better.”

Your Date: “This was a remake?”

You: *sigh*

How to tell you’re a nerd: Method 53

You own vinyl records, are under the age of 30, and you are not a disc jockey.