TV Panels and More at NYCC 2016

TV Panels and More at NYCC 2016

NYCC 2016 Panels

New York Comic Con 2016 is officially in the books. It was a whirlwind of early mornings, late nights, long lines, and lots of TV. From panels and virtual reality experiences to books and sneak peeks there was never a shortage of things to do and see. In my two days at NYCC I was able to catch nine panels and spend some time wandering the showroom floor. Here’s the highlights:

TV Panels

Regular Show & Steven Universe

I’ll be honest I don’t watch either of these shows. I went to Hammerstein Ballroom early to make sure I had a seat for the Elementary panel. But if you can sit in on a panel with voice actors I highly recommend it. Both were fun, but I especially enjoyed the Steven Universe panel. The show’s creator Rebecca Sugar brought along her ukelele so we were treated to a few songs including one from a yet unaired episode. I was also surprised to see Charlyne Yi and AJ Michalka on stage, both of whom are voicing gems this season.


CBS Elementary Panel NYCC 2016

After sitting through the pair of Cartoon Network panels, Elementary was up next. As expected a good chunk of the room cleared out so I was able to make my way down from the balcony to a seat that was much more front and center. We were first treated to a screening of the upcoming episode, “Worth Several Cities” (5×2), and then Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, and Rob Doherty, the series creator took the stage for some Q&A. Here’s what I learned:

  • Shinwell Johnson, played by Nelsan Ellis, will be around all season and create some tension between Joan and Sherlock.
  • The character of Shinwell Johnson actually appears in the same Sherlock Holmes story as Kitty Winter, “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client”.
  • The series will hit the 100-episode milestone this season.
  • There is a Clyde moment in the upcoming episode!
  • In the second half of the season a recognizable character may return. That’s all that was teased as it’s apparently not completely worked out yet.
  • Lucy Liu will be directing two episodes later this season.
  • Asked which Arthur Conan Doyle story they’d still like to tell, Doherty said the one with the waterfall, which I presume is “The Final Problem”.

Mr. Robot

Mr Robot BookCon Panel

After the Elementary panel I started walking back to the Javits Center by way of the Hudson Mercantile building, which was home to BookCon this year. If you’re wondering why Mr. Robot was at BookCon, it’s because they were promoting the “Mr. Robot Red Wheelbarrow book, a.k.a. Elliot’s journal from the beginning of season two. Creator Sam Esmail and show writer Courtney Looney were on hand to discuss the new book and of course the TV series. Here’s some fun facts from the panel:

  • The book takes place between season 1 and season 2 of Mr. Robot.
  • The print mimics Rami Malek and Christian Slater’s real handwriting.
  • The book even includes inserts like a postcard, envelope, and pamphlet from the Bible group Elliott attends while in prison. Like the show, it seems that every little detail has been carefully considered.
  • The character of Dom was initially conceived as being older, like someone who was close to retirement but Esmail likes to blind cast. When Grace Gummer read for the part, he knew she was the one.
  • The countdown on the walk signal in the diner scene from “h1dden-pr0cess.axx” (2×9) was a practical effect. They don’t have much of a special effects budget so they literally had to time their shots based on the traffic light.
  • A lot of people praised Esmail for getting New York City and Coney Island right when filming and he talked about how that was important to him. Shooting on location has it’s own set of difficulties, but the city is like another character to the show so the end result is worth it.   
  • Sam Esmail did admit that he was initially a bit bummed that some people so quickly guessed the prison plot twist, but then figured it wasn’t a bad thing to have fans that were so invested and deeply engaged in the series.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The last panel for me on Friday was Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the main stage. Like any other Marvel panel, the Q&A was light on actual answers but it was still fun to hear from Jeph Loeb, Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, and Gabriel Luna. They brought with them the next episode “Uprising” (4×3).

Although we were forewarned that not all the special effects were locked in yet, I certainly couldn’t tell. It was definitely a great episode to watch with a large audience. I’m not going to spoil anything but the fight scenes, humor, and larger story lines were all on-point. Make sure to tune in this Tuesday at 10pm on ABC, you’re not going to want to miss this one.


USA Network’s Falling Water

First up on Saturday morning was the Falling Water panel. The new series is set to premier this Thursday, October 13th on USA Network. I honestly didn’t know much going in, but the show seemed interesting enough to sit through while waiting for the Black Mirror panel. And I have to say, when all was said and done I was ready to add the new series to my watch list.

Like Mr. Robot, Falling Water appears to be another step away from the episodic and lighthearted fare that the USA Network was once known for. Falling Water revolves around dreams and the idea that our dreams are not only connected but can also be controlled. Besides the show’s two creators a good chunk of the cast was in attendance. They also brought along Moran Cerf, a hacker turned neuroscientist to help explain the science of dreams. All in all it was a pretty fascinating hour about the show and dreams in general. Here’s what you should know about Falling Water:

  • Blake Masters initially conceived the idea for the show in 2006, he then wrote the first version of the script in 2008 with Henry Bromell during the writer’s strike. All this is to say that it’s not some Inception knock-off. That movie was released in 2010.
  • Gale Anne Hurd, who came the project a little bit later but is credited as the series’ third creator, has a resume full of Terminator movies and TV shows so she’s no stranger to alternative timelines.
  • Apparently we spend 1/12th of our lives asleep, so dreams are ripe for storytelling.
  • The show features a diverse cast and several of the actors expressed how it was nice to just play a person, not a stereotype.
  • One way the show signifies dream sequences is with long shots.
  • Masters promised answers by the end of the season. He said they weren’t looking to string viewers along.  
  • The writers room has a clearly defined mythology and set of rules to follow for the series.
  • The Falling Water title comes from the idea that there is a permeable wall between our awake and asleep states and like a waterfall you can pass through it.
  • Season 1 will be 10 episodes.

Black Mirror

Immediately following the Falling Water panel was the exclusive Black Mirror – “Play Test” screening. “Play Test” is the first episode of the third season, which will debut on Netflix on October 21st. All I can say is that the episode was delightfully twisted and I look forward to seeing what else they have in store.

Fashion, Comics and the Rise of Geek Chic

This one wasn’t TV-related but it was scheduled right before the Brat Pack America panel so I figured it couldn’t hurt to learn something new. After all, I’ve been consuming a lot of comic book based TV shows lately so the topic wasn’t completely irrelevant to my interests. Panelists included Robbi Rodriguez, Cameron Stewart, Adam Withers, and Jen Bartel.

The group discussed fashion inspirations, form versus function, especially for their superhero characters which included Batgirl and Spider-Gwen, and the importance of establishing color palettes for characters while also being careful to avoid the Power Rangers effect. (Just because Billy is the Blue Ranger, doesn’t mean he needs to be wearing blue overalls with a blue striped shirt, and blue sneakers.) Overall, it was a really compelling panel with some really talented people.  

Batgirl 2014 Redesign


Brat Pack America

My last panel of the weekend, Brat Pack America: A Salute to 80s Teen Movies and the Pioneering Directors of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Real Genius,was a bit of a nostalgia trip. As the panel name indicates, Amy Heckerling and Martha Coolidge were in attendance. Kevin Smokler, who wrote the book “Brat Pack America: Visiting Cult Movies of the 80s was on hand to moderate.

Thanks to solid moderating by Smokler and mostly insightful questions by fellow fans, Heckerling and Coolidge spent the hour recounting stories from their most revered movies, discussing what it’s like to be a woman in the entertainment industry, sharing how they discovered such young and talented actors, and how they found and secured now iconic songs for their movies’ soundtracks.

After the panel concluded all three actually went out to the hallway and proceeded to spend over an hour taking photos and talking one-on-one with any of us still hanging around. Heckerling and Coolidge were both hilarious, candid, and extremely generous with their time. I feel cooler for having been in the same room as them. I also got a chance to chat a bit more with Smokler and look forward to reading his book.


And More:

The Man in the High Castle Virtual Experience

I wasn’t able to make it back to the Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday for The Man in the High Castle panel, but Amazon had a virtual experience booth set up in the Experiential Zone so I made sure to check that out. As someone who’s already binged the first season, the virtual experience wasn’t anything new, but it was still a neat way to promote the show. In fact, a lot of people in line with me had never seen the series before, so maybe now they’ll check it out now.

What was new for me was the actual virtual experience though. Gotta say, the detailing was rather nifty. And at one point while I was scanning the room for clues I looked down only to see Juliana’s legs rather than my own, that was neat. It certainly wasn’t lacking in the immersion factor.

The Lego Booth

Lego was promoting the Lego Batman Movie with not only a giant Batman made out of Legos, but also with a minifig set up to take selfies with fans:

Lego Batman Selfie

As always the booth also included interactive lego projects. This year you could follow some simple instructions to help build pieces for a giant Lego Batgirl and / or do your own thing and build a Lego mosaic. I opted for both because why the hell not.


Between the various panels and showroom floor, here’s what I was able to haul in:

  • Replica Cardboard Captain America Shield
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Poster
  • Marvel’s Iron Fist Poster
  • The Man in the High Castle Poster
  • Dark Horse Comics Tote Bag
  • Falling Water Tote Bag
  • Mr. Robot fsociety T-Shirt
  • Free Preview Chapter of “The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen”

And there you have it. It was a really good weekend. I got to see everything I wanted to see and do everything I wanted to do. Until next year NYCC.

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Written by Jamie Paton

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