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Episode 195 - TGE Watches Star Trek Discovery Ep 3&4

Hold on to your hats, Sci-Fi lovers! The Geek Embassy is taking on the latest Star Trek series for TGE Watches. Star Trek: Discovery is the most recent offering in the Star Trek universe. Airing exclusively on CBS All Access, this series releases every Sunday night. We will meet to discuss the latest in a beloved fandom every two weeks through the mid-season finale in December.

Star Trek: Discovery

From CBS All Access:

Star Trek, one of the most iconic and influential global television franchises, returns 50 years after it first premiered, with Star Trek: Discovery. The series will feature a new ship, new characters and new missions, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24 on CBS All Access.

Ten years before Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise, the USS Discovery discovers new worlds and lifeforms as one Starfleet officer learns to understand all things alien.

Our Discussion

I stand alone as the only one of the three of us more excited after watching episodes 3 and 4 to see how the story unfolds. “Context is for Kings” sees Michael Burnham, the disgraced first captain, on her way to the prison ship after being sentenced for mutiny. She quickly discovers not all is what it seems once she is rescued by the Discovery. She endears herself to the captain, Gabriel Lorca, both with her intelligence and her quick thinking during an emergency. He invites her to stay on the ship instead of being sent to prison.

Episode 4, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry,” continues Burnham’s journey on the ship. She solidifies her new role on the ship by thinking outside the box and solving a major issue with the new drive they are testing. We are all disappointed about a major plot point in this episode and feel like the writers cut short an opportunity for some real character growth.

To Discuss

What are your thoughts so far on this new Star Trek show? It is quite different from the Trek of the past; does that make you more or less interested in it?

Until next time, get your Trek on!

Regina & Dante & Isabela

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Episode 194 - TGE Reads Storm Front

Welcome to the first episode in our new series, The Geek Embassy Reads! This series is the official book club for the site. We will read a book and then come together to share our thoughts about it.

Storm Front

For the first installment, we read Storm Front by Jim Butcher. This is the first installment of The Dresden Files series.

From the Amazon description:

For Harry Dresden—Chicago’s only professional wizard—business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name.

Fanboys

Evan and Dante are both big fans of the series. The excitement the bring to the discussion is pretty endearing. (Even when Dante says that Harry Dresden is the “best” wizard named Harry. Not quite fighting words but close!)

My favorite one liner from the show, “Nothing ends well that starts with tequila.” You have to check out the episode for the reference.

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela & Dante & Evan

To Discuss

Have you read The Dresden Files? Should we continue with this series or a different book? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Episode 193 - TGE Watches Star Trek: Discovery

Hold on to your hats, Sci-Fi lovers! The Geek Embassy is taking on the latest Star Trek series for TGE Watches. Star Trek: Discovery is the latest offering in the Star Trek universe. Airing exclusively on CBS All Access, this series releases every Sunday night. We will meet to discuss the latest in a beloved fandom every two weeks through the mid-season finale in December.

Star Trek: Discovery

From CBS All Access:

Star Trek, one of the most iconic and influential global television franchises, returns 50 years after it first premiered, with Star Trek: Discovery. The series will feature a new ship, new characters and new missions, while embracing the same ideology and hope for the future that inspired a generation of dreamers and doers. Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24 on CBS All Access.

Ten years before Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise, the USS Discovery discovers new worlds and lifeforms as one Starfleet officer learns to understand all things alien.

Our Discussion

We first discuss accessing the show online and our feelings about yet another subscription service. Then we dive into the show proper, talking about the sets, costumes, special effects, and yet another Klingon redesign. Yes, Klingons. Of course, Klingons.

Characters in the series so far are dynamic and engaging but kind of flat emotionally. We lack the emotional investment we really wanted from the main characters.  Listen to hear us discuss what we hope to see after the cliff hanger and bait and switch of the series premiere.

To Discuss

Did you watch ST:D? Thoughts? Feelings?  Will you later on DVD/Blue Ray?

Until next time, Get your Trek on!

Regina & Isabela & Dante

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Episode 192 - Baskets and Capes at RCCC

Greetings Geeks!

Today, I have a recording of our recent panel at Rose City Comic Con for your listening and geeking out pleasure. This is the third time we have presented this topic but each time is different, largely because we depend so much on audience participation. Because come on. The best panels let YOU speak. Am I right or am I right?

RCCC Audiences Rock

The audience at RCCC was engaged and engaging. They knew a lot about fairy tales from the very start of the panel which is  not how it has gone for us in the past. Usually, I pose the question to the audience intending to trick them and tell them that everything they know is wrong. I couldn't do that this session because other than one comment about fairy tales being "for kids," everything the audience shared was spot on. It is such a joy and a pleasure to present this panel but even more so when the audience truly appreciates our efforts.

Jesse came up to the stage after we presented and bestowed us with her declaration of "best panel of the con." Her enthusiastic comments contributed to how flawlessly this panel went for us. She told us we should make it two hours next time. (I'll check with RCCC and see if we can do something just like that next year.)

Unfortunately, my friend and colleague and expert in fairy tales, Jennifer Leaver, was unable to attend this time. She is working on a guest post with reading suggestions on this topic for the near future.

A New Panelist

It's also noteworthy that this is the first time that Dante sat on as a panelist. At Wizard World, he moderated the panel and did his best to keep us on track. For RCCC, his analysis of the Green Lantern was flawless and perfectly engaged not just what we were presenting but the audience's interest as well. Isabela and I have both had some practice presenting about Jessica Jones and Guardians of the Galaxy respectively. But Dante's example and thoughtful commentary was truly outstanding.

I am always proud of the work we do here at The Geek Embassy but never more so than when we are out at cons representing the site and our geeky interests. I have another article I am working on that will go into greater dept on that topic but I will save it for another time.

Check out the panel and let us know your thoughts!

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela & Dante

To Discuss

What kind do you look for in a panel when you attend a con? Lots of audience participation? Lots of info? Great panelists? Celebrities?

BASKETS AND CAPES: WHAT FAIRY TALES CAN TEACH US ABOUT SUPERHEROES

Everywhere you look, in every form of pop culture, at the movies, on broadcast TV, and on Netflix, everything’s coming up superheroes. Storytelling has always been about explaining the world; it is how humankind reaches out and understands that the struggles we face are often shared experiences. How does our current fascination with superheroes relate to storytelling approaches of the past? Can fairy tales help us understand the current fascination with superheroes? Come listen to an enlightening discussion about how everything old is new again and superpowered to boot.

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Episode 191 - TGE Geeks Out Over Motor Crush!

Greetings Geeks!

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing three comic book hotshots at Rose City Comic Con. I completely lucked out and got a chance to talk to Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, And Babs Tarr about their latest offering from Image Comics: Motor Crush

I can't lie. When I got the list of books available for interview, Motor Crush raced to the top because the premise seemed so unique and inherently feminist. Domino Swift is a woman of color competing in the dangerous world of moto racing. She lives her life perched between the official world of racing, and dangerous street racing where she competes for the engine boosting substance, "Crush." Torn between two worlds that demand every ounce of her spirit, she battles her own demons and those out to get her. My jaw dropped at the end of the first volume and I can't wait to see what comes next. 

This is a live recording and unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a video to go with it. Check it out and order your own copy of Motor Crush Volume 1 now!

Regina 

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Episode 190 - TGE Plays Pathfinder - As the Raven Flies

Greetings Adventurers!

We return again to the depths of the Vastwood and find our characters traveling back toward civilization. Nictis Loath travels with our merry band of adventurers. As you’ll remember from episode 8, we discovered Nictis the only living person among a community of powerful mage ghosts.

Nictis berates our characters with questions about every living thing. Having not been around other living people, his excitement is understandable even if a little on the annoying side. The group also discovers that Nictis might be a little more powerful than they originally expected. Will this help or hinder their experience? Check out the episode and see.

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela & Dante & Mark & Evan

To Discuss

What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened to you while playing an RPG?

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Episode 189 - TGE Watches Dunkirk

In this episode of TGE Watches, Mark, Ryan, and I discuss Christopher Nolan's epic Dunkirk. We decided to break our summer movie superhero run with quite a different epic film. Two of us enjoyed it and one was quite very disappointed.

Official Description

Three different perspectives with overlapping time periods: one week on land, one day at sea, and one hour in the air, create a non-linear narrative.

Introductory text at the start of the movie says that in 1940, after the invasion of France, hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers had retreated to Dunkirk. As German forces close in, they await evacuation in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Our Analysis

Our opinions differed greatly in pretty much every aspect of the film. Mark shares his disappointment that the setting didn't look truer to the actual beaches during the war. (See photos below for comparison.) Ryan and I both appreciated the artistic nature of the movie overall and how it was surprisingly deep. I will heartily admit it is hard to follow at the start, especially if you don't know the details of the battle particularly well. Watch and listen to hear our thoughtful analysis.

 

 

For Reference - Photos from the Shores of Dunkirk

Screen Captures from the Movie Dunkirk

 

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Episode 188 - TGE Watches GoT S7 Finale!

#ThronesYall

It’s finally that time of year again: Game of Thrones has returned to HBO! Regina, Isabela, join Nicole Tanner from Gaming with the Moms to discuss season 7 of everyone’s favorite fantasy drama. Our first episode discussed Episodes 1 & 2 of Season 7. Our second episode discusses 3,4, and 5 and we wrap up the season with episodes for just episode 6, and now the finale!

Official Game of Thrones Description

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne continues.

It stretches from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues, to the vast and savage eastern lands, where a young queen raises an army. All the while, in the frozen north, an 800-foot wall of ice precariously protects the war-ravaged kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all play the ‘Game of Thrones.’ An original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ series.

Episode Description

Season 7 Episode 7

The Dragon & The Wolf

Season 7 of the epic series ends.

Our Discussion

This is the first time we have recorded the DAY AFTER the episode aired. There is so much to say and so much happens. We talk about the amazing meeting of 17 named characters. Seriously. This is the first time so many known and loved characters were on screen at the same time and in many ways it was worth the wait. (Kinda loving The Hound.) As always, we talk about every aspect of the story and some of what we think is coming. We will record another wrap up episode, looking at the season and the series as a whole.

Until next time, winter has come to King's Landing!

Regina & Isabela & Nicole

To Discuss

What was your favorite scene from the finale? Did you love watching the wall come down? The politics? The slicing of someone's throat?

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Episode 187 - TGE Watches Game of Thrones, S7 E6

#ThronesYall

It’s finally that time of year again: Game of Thrones has returned to HBO! Regina, Isabela, join Nicole Tanner from Gaming with the Moms to discuss season 7 of everyone’s favorite fantasy drama. Our first episode discussed Episodes 1 & 2 of Season 7. Our second episode discusses 3,4, and 5 and this week covers just episode 6!

Official Game of Thrones Description

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne continues.

It stretches from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues, to the vast and savage eastern lands, where a young queen raises an army. All the while, in the frozen north, an 800-foot wall of ice precariously protects the war-ravaged kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all play the ‘Game of Thrones.’ An original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ series.

Episode Description

Season 7 Episode 6

Beyond the Wall

Jon and the Brotherhood hunt the dead. Arya confronts Sansa. Tyrion thinks about the future.

Our Discussion

We discuss the ragtag band of adventurers that make this crazy plan to bring a wright back as proof to Cersi and Danereys. Sansa and Arya have a tense conversation. The rest of our story lines are left to wrap up in next week’s finale. Everything is moving so fast! It’s exciting and OMG only one episode left!

Until next time, don’t throw stones at zombies!

Regina, Isabela, and Nicole

To Discuss

What is your theory about Little Finger, Sansa, and Arya?

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Episode 186 - TGE Watches Game of Thrones S 7 E 3-4-5

#ThronesYall

It’s finally that time of year again: Game of Thrones has returned to HBO! Regina, Isabela, join Nicole Tanner from Gaming with the Moms to discuss season 7 of everyone’s favorite fantasy drama.

Official Game of Thrones Description

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne continues.

It stretches from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues, to the vast and savage eastern lands, where a young queen raises an army. All the while, in the frozen north, an 800-foot wall of ice precariously protects the war-ravaged kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all play the ‘Game of Thrones.’ An original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ series.

Episode Descriptions

Season 7, Episode 3
The Queen's Justice 

Daenerys holds court. Tyrion backchannels. Cersei returns a gift. Jaime learns from his mistakes.

Season 7, Episode 5
The Spoils of War

The Lannisters pay their debts. Daenerys weighs her options. Arya comes home.

Season 7, Episode 6
Eastwatch

Daenerys offers a choice. Arya grows suspicious. Tyrion answers a good question.

Our Discussion

The amount of action in these episodes is overwhelming. We do our best (and in only TWO HOURS!) to discuss each of the plot lines and the characters we've come to love and hate. One of the most interesting observations about GoT is the fact that we have such conflicted feelings about so many of the characters. It's often hard to decide in some scenes who you are rooting for...

We might record two more episodes in this season, depending on how much happens in the penultimate episode and the season finale. A battle approaches but will it rival the ones that have come before? Only time will tell.

Until next time, winter is here!

Regina, Isabela, and Nicole

To Discuss

Which character in GoT creates the most internal conflict for you? Who do you hate to love?

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Episode 185 - TGE Plays Pathfinder - Ep 9 Nictis Loath

Greetings and salutations, fellow adventurers!

Our last adventure saw our traveling band of heroes negotiate their way into the next part of the adventure. Trusting Hargath’s instinct that the ghost wardens, Byron and Celeste, were protecting something of great and dangerous power, we are invited beyond the veil. In this episode, many secrets will be revealed including the purpose and power behind the Void Scythe. Pivotal plot twists a’ho!

Join our characters as they make their way into this leg of their journey. The story deepens, the characters come together and the next leg of their journey becomes clear.

Watch the entire campaign, The Keeper of the Dead, on YouTube here! And subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela & Dante & Mark & Evan

The Characters

Hargath (Mark)
Human Cleric
Alignment: Neutral Good

Hargath is a reformed murderer/thief. He became a member of Sarenrae’s order after a cleric from the order showed him mercy. At 36, he started his Cleric teachings older than most and his blond hair has begun to grey. Recently he had a falling out with the church he was based out of due to discovering the chief priest there embezzling gold for his own purposes. He now looks to find adventurers that he can travel with in the hopes of finding a new church and helping anyone he can along the way. Whether that means healing people, bringing evil-doers to the light or smiting  evil that won’t makes little difference to him.

Sevarka Sunseeker (Dante)
Gnome Sorceress
Alignment: Neutral Good

The cheerfully optimistic, orange skinned, green haired gnome called Sevarka Sunseeker describes herself as a professional nomad. Friend to all she comes across, her delightful facade hides a family secret. Generations ago, a dragon assumed gnomish form bedded one of the Sunseeker family progenitors. The eldest born daughter of each Sunseeker generation manifests aspects of the dragon and inherits its magical​ talents. Sevarka is the first born daughter of her generation, and wanders to discover the the origins of her draconic blood and what that means for the legacy of the Sunseeker clan.

Neraden Runka (Regina)
Dwarf Barbarian
Alignment: Neutral Good

Neraaden (Nera like Vera for short) is the middle daughter of a large dwarf family. With 10 siblings, she feels underappreciated and overlooked by her family. She leaves her family with dreams of finding success on the road but encounters disaster almost as soon as she leaves. She persevered as she journeyed farther and father from home, hoping one day she might return home a celebrated hero.

Freya Redsun (Isabela)
Half-Elf Ranger
Alignment: Neutral Good

Freya is a half-elf that is striking out on her own after clashing with her elfish mother one too many times. She wants to find out who she is without the influence of her family. Freya’s mother was born into a royal elvish family but gave up the luxuries of that life to be with the human man she came to love. Freya carries the weight of her mother’s sacrifice with heavy resentment.

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Episode 184 - TGE Watches Game of Thrones

It’s finally that time of year again: Game of Thrones has returned to HBO! Regina, Isabela, join Nicole Tanner from Gaming with the Moms to discuss season 7 of everyone’s favorite fantasy drama.

Official Game of Thrones Description

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne continues.

It stretches from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues, to the vast and savage eastern lands, where a young queen raises an army. All the while, in the frozen north, an 800-foot wall of ice precariously protects the war-ravaged kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men…all play the ‘Game of Thrones.’ An original series based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ series.

Fangirls

Ok it’s pretty safe to say all three of us are differing levels of fan girl over Game of Thrones. Most dedicated among us is Nicole as she knows all the characters names. Normally, I wouldn’t note this as part of a definition of being “most dedicated” but come on. So many characters, so many odd and hard to remember names. She wins.

We talk about both the season 7 premire episode, Dragonstone, and the second episode, Stormborn, in great detail. We spoil everything. That is pretty much the expectation for the entire TGE Watches series: Spoilers are coming. Also discussed are several fan theories and a handful of articles we read before recording.

I am kinda sad we wrapped when we did because we continued talking about how much we hate Little Finger afterward and it was awesome. We will try to remember to pick up on that next episode. As I mention, we will do three episodes in this TGE Watches series. The next will be in three weeks after episode 5 airs.

Until next time, winter has come!

Regina, Isabela, and Nicole.

To Discuss

Which story line in Game of Thrones is the most compelling to you and why?

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Episode 183 - TGE Watches Spider-Man: Homecoming

We’re back and talking about the next movie in our summer series: Spider-Man Homecoming!

From the Official Site

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). Under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine. He finds himself distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. But when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

As always, we talk the nitty gritty of the whole movie and spoil everything! Highlights include discussing how high is too high for Peter Parker, Keaton once being team DC and now entering Marvel as a kick ass bad guy, and the amazing casting job overall in the movie. Don’t miss our insights!

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina, Ryan, and Mark

To Discuss

Was Spider-Man: Homecoming an origin story? Why or why not?

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Episode 182 - TGE Plays Pathfinder - Ep 7 The Haunted Murk

Greetings and salutations, fellow adventurers!

Our band of merry role players continues their journey after taking out a small band of goblins in our last episode. After a successful fight full of magic fireballs and dopey goblins attacks, we rescue the half elf commander, Vanya Brightmoor. She joins the group with little reservation after we risk our lives to save and free her. In many ways, this fight brings our heroes together and proves their worth as a team.

Sevarka (Dante) impresses us all with her amazing fireball of doom. Hargath (Mark) impresses us with his spells and healing power and taking the time to make sure Freya recovered completely from her wound. Neraden (Regina) cleaves her way into the hearts and heads of the enemy. It was a great episode.

Onward Towards…

In episode seven, we continue toward the relic that set us on this road. The path changes a bit in this episode, much to each of our character’s surprise. Watch and let us know what you think of our journey!

Game on!

Regina & Isabela & Mark & Dante & Evan

To Discuss

What do you think is the most important part of role playing? Developing your character? Or bonding as a team?

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Episode 181 - TGE Watches The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale

For the next episode in our TGE Watches series, Isabela and I discuss the Hulu Original series: The Handmaid’s Tale. We discussed the series several times as it was airing, and had differing thoughts and opinions about it. These differences make for a pretty lively and engaging discussion.

Series Description

Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in what was formerly the United States. Facing environmental disasters and a plunging birthrate, Gilead is ruled by a twisted fundamentalism in its militarized ‘return to traditional values’. As one of the few remaining fertile women, Offred (Elisabeth Moss) is a Handmaid in the Commander’s household, one of the caste of women forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. In this terrifying society, Offred must navigate between Commanders, their cruel Wives, domestic Marthas, and her fellow Handmaids – where anyone could be a spy for Gilead – all with one goal: to survive and find the daughter that was taken from her.

Our Discussion

We touch on three major topics during this discussion which all focus on our differing perspectives as viewers. First we discuss how the show stays true to the source material and how it differs. The impact this has on the story told is pretty profound. We touch on the different emotional responses we had to the themes of motherhood. I found some of the scenes that involved June’s daughter to be particularly difficult, not because of the content but because I can so imagine my own emotional response as a mother. Lastly, we analyze how race is represented in Gliead in this modern, visual medium and how that is also a significant departure from the book.

To Discuss:

Did you watch The Handmaid’s Tale? What drew you to the story and kept you watching? If not, have you avoided it for a specific reason? We love hearing your comments! Let us know your thoughts below.

Until next time, get your geek on!

Regina & Isabela

 
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