Four Letter Nerd

Category - Web

Netflix: Shows to Look Forward to in 2016

The reboot of a classic family sitcom, the sophomore seasons of a number of 2015 hits, and the beginning of a highly anticipated historical series are some of the highlights the world’s top provider of streaming entertainment will be bringing our way this calendar year. Here’s a detailed look at the most intriguing of these options:

Fuller House (Premiere Date: February 26th)

Fuller House

The classic family sitcom of TGIF fame returns with a familiar premise as two of Danny Tanner’s daughters (the Olsen twins are not slated to return) and annoying friend Kimmy Gibler raise DJ’s three boys after the death of her husband. Here’s the teaser trailer for the “new” show:

House of Cards Season 4 (Premiere Date: March 4th)

The series that turned Netflix into an original programming giant enters a presidential election season (which may provide us with better candidates than our real life election) with plenty of marital drama to match coming from the Underwood home. Here’s a mock presidential campaign video promoting the new season:

Daredevil Season 2 (Premiere Date: March 18th)

Daredevil Season 2

2015 was the year Netflix convinced us they could successfully enter the superhero genre. Jessica Jones was a huge hit towards the end of 2015. And Daredevil was so well-received that the streaming giant moved plans for a second season ahead to this year.

And now Season 2 adds Punisher and Elektra (let’s hope it’s better than the Jennifer Garner version of the heroine) to the stable of Marvel characters fighting crime in Hell’s Kitchen.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2 (Expected Premiere Date: Spring)

In a banner year for Netflix, Kimmy Schmidt deserves as much claim as any other series the streaming giant put out in 2015. And per the agreement Netflix made with NBC, Season 2 will be back for another 13 episodes of hilarity as Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) continues her reintroduction back into society following 15 years living underground. And as a bonus, does any show on television have a catchier theme song?

If that song is in your head now, then you’re welcome!!!

The Crown (Premiere Date: Sometime in 2016)

The Crown

Six seasons are planned for this biographical series about Queen Elizabeth (or Princess Elizabeth as she is called at the start of the series) and her rise to the British Crown. The first season will focus on post World War II England with John Lithgow playing Winston Churchill. Here’s the trailer for the much-anticipated historical drama:

Honorable Mentions:

Narcos (Season 2)

Orange is the New Black (Season 4)

Arrested Development (maybe, Season 5)

Luke Cage (debut season)

 

“Honorable Mentions” were more from my lack of knowledge about those shows as opposed to some ranking placing them below the others. If you have any knowledge to drop or have a show you’re really excited about that’s not mentioned, feel free to discuss in the comments.

JK Rowling Adds To The Potter Universe!

Today JK Rowling announced a new writing on “one of her favorite ‘off stage’ characters…” in her infamous Harry Potter series. Now when I hear any Harry Potter related news I get excited but more often than not it’s always about a character or subject that I never enjoyed in the books, but this one peaked my interest.

If you don’t immediately recognize the name of Celestina Warbeck, don’t worry, because she is only mentioned three times throughout the entire Potter series. Once in book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and another is in book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The final mention is in the companion book, “Quidditch Through the Ages.” She is “…credited with recording Puddlemere United’s team anthem “Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys, and Check That Quaffle Here.”

Celestina Warbeck is a famous singing Witch, who just also happens to be Molly Weasley’s favorite performer. Every Christmas the whole Weasley Family would gather around the radio and listen to Warbeck sing.

The 500 word entry to Rowling’s Pottermore.com gives you a brief insight to Celestina’s early years at Hogwarts and the beginnings of her career. The story was posted today because as it turns out August 18th is also Celestina’s birthday, so Happy Birthday!!

Another really cool thing that has been released is a recording of the “singing sorceress” most famous song, “You Stole My Cauldron But You Can’t Have My Heart.” You can actually see Celestina perform on a daily basis at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando Resort. I listened to the song, it’s not really my style but the lyrics are pretty good.

If you would like to read Rowling’s story about Warbeck you can sign up on pottermore.com (it only takes a second) and go to the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter 4 ‘Floo Powder” Moment and click on the radio next to the fireplace. Sit back and listen to the smooth sound of Celestina Warbeck and imagine you are sitting at a small intimate Wizard club sipping drinks with your friends, chatting about the latest Witch gossip. You’ll have a better day, trust me.

www.pottermore.com

 

(Editor’s note: This article was posted by Paige Clark)

“In The Beginning…” – The Origin of 4 Letter Nerd

A long long time ago, on a Facebook thread hidden deep in the interwebs,  there was a little boy named Bill who wished upon a dying star that he could somehow work in the nerd community. And like the shadow of Xerxes’ arrows, 3 old guys and a tech genius descended upon him within minutes and began what is now known as Four Letter Nerd. That is where our journey began a year ago, and we’d like to invite you to read the thread itself for all it’s glory. Enjoy.

 

Origin 1Origin 2Origin 3Origin 4Origin 5Origin 6Origin 7Origin 8Origin 9Origin 10Origin 11Origin 12Origin 13

Origin 14

 

As you can see by the main image at the top of this article, we’re throwing ourselves a Birthday party! We’re calling it 4LN’s BirthdayCon, and we want you all to come! Come party with us at our favorite comic shop, Comic Collector Live: the Store! Get more info by going here: on.fb.me/1ANqbfM

 

Star Trek: Phase II – Continuing the Five Year Mission

If you’ve been following Four Letter Nerd for any length of time you might have noticed a distinct lack of articles concerning Star Trek (other than the thought-provoking guest piece by our friends at the Disembodied Beard).  This isn’t on purpose, we just don’t have a full-blown “Star Trek” nerd on staff.  I am probably the closest thing we got, but Star Wars is my first love and second tattoo.  Unlike some of my fellow Star Wars fans (Star Warriors?), I am not actually opposed to Star Trek.  In fact, I actually enjoy the Original Series quite a bit, I just don’t know the intimate details like I do with Star Wars.

Originally, Phase II was a planned continuation of the Original Series, and would follow Captain James T. Kirk and several other members of the original cast on a second five-year mission across the universe.  The show was planned to air May 1978 by the Paramount Television Service.  What’s that?  You’ve never heard of the Paramount Television Service?  That’s because the collapsed in on itself harder than the planet Vulcan in J. J. Abrams Star Trek before Kirk could make his triumphant return to the Enterprise, and Phase II collapsed along with it (although elements of the planned series can be seen throughout the future films and shows).

If you remember correctly, the crew of the Original Series were on a five year mission, but the show was canceled after only three seasons.  What happened to Kirk and his crew the remaining two years of their mission to explore the final frontier?

Enter James Cawley’s Star Trek: Phase II (the Web-series Formerly Known as New Voyages).

Phase II poster

Star Trek: Phase II is a fan created web-series, which is created by Cawley’s Retro Film Studios, and picks up where the Original Series left off.  The show is filmed in a long-defunct car dealership located in Port Henry, New York.  Inside the garage there exists a perfect recreation of the Bridge of the USS Enterprise, as well as the Science Lab, and the Sick Bay, which were built using the actual blueprints from the show (meaning it’s LITERALLY as accurate a reproduction possible outside of time travel).  According to Cawley, “The new show will be the continuing voyages of Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701 as seen in the 1966-69 television series, Star Trek. The series was cancelled after its third season. We are presenting the series as if it were in its fourth year. We acknowledge that the visual effects are contemporary, but we work hard within out capabilities to keep the effects familiar to fans of the original series.”  The Bridge of the USS Enterprise is so precise, it caused Nichelle Nichols (Uhura in the Original Series) to reportedly exclaim, “Oh, my god! It’s the exact same set.”

Bridge

Again, I am not a Star Trek aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, but I have watched a majority of the Original Series and felt like Cawley and his team really nailed the overall tone and style.  Is it a little cheesy?  Sure, but is it an accurate representation of the show they are trying to painstakingly recreate?  Absolutely.  As far as fan productions go, this one is top notch.  A lot of detail goes into each episode (which is funded out of pocket by the producers and crew, they take donations on their website), and you can definitely tell.

Cawley, who played Capt. James Tiberius Kirk for the first 12 episodes, makes sure to stress that they are playing the characters, not the actors playing the characters.  This is an important distinction, because if you are expecting someone channeling their inner-Shatner playing Kirk you will be dissappointed.  It’s like all of the incarnations of James Bond.  Daniel Craig is not channeling Sean Connery’s Bond, he is making it his own, which is what Cawley and his team are trying to do.

Cawley Phase II

One thing Phase II does to raise the bar higher than most fan-created shows can is that several members of the cast and crew of the Original Series have made appearances and/or helped with the production of the show.  Internet icon George Takei reprises his role as Hikaru Sulu (via time travel because, you know, Star Trek) in the episode “A World Enough and Time.” Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on the Original Series, also makes an appearance in the episode “To Serve All My Days.”  But it’s not just the cast that make significant contributions – David Gerrold, who wrote the famous Original Series episode “The Trouble With Tribbles,” has signed on to write two episodes, and Marc Scott Zicree, a writer for both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, co-wrote and directed “A World Enough and Time.”

I haven’t been able to make it through all of the episodes yet.  There are currently eight episodes (with another four in production), and they run an average of about 50 minutes each.  The goal is to have a full 22 (or more) episode season that will complete the final years of the original five year mission and stay true to Gene Roddenberry’s vision and philosophy for the original Trek.  So if you are a fan of the Original Series, go check out Star Trek: Phase II and appreciate a new take on an ol Trek.

 

 

 

 

Why A Toddler Makes Your Opinion Irrelevant

You might have already seen it, but there’s a video making the rounds of this adorable little 1 year old dude watching the scene from Man of Steel where Superman flies for the first time. If you haven’t watched it, here it is:

 

As I watched that video, I got so excited for that little kid. Seeing him so happy about such an iconic moment for, arguably, comics greatest superhero made me smile so big. But then, almost as quickly as I got excited, I got angry Not at the kid mind you. I’m not a monster. I started getting mad at all the nerd-elitists who ravage every superhero movie, and really any piece of entertainment-art that’s presented to the public. I got mad at a culture that spits at something it considers inferior to it’s perception. I’m not saying it isn’t OK to be disappointed with something. I’m just saying you don’t have to be such an a–hole about it.

 

I get it. You don’t like Zack Snyder, or his style of film-making. In your “opinion” it doesn’t have enough depth or maturity. I don’t really f—ing care and neither does Zack “multimillionaire” Snyder. That’s MY opinion. Oh Superman would never kill and that’s unrealistic for the character and what he represents? Guess what? HE’S NOT F—ING REAL. He’s the most unreal thing ever. Aliens are not coming to Earth to have a massive battle in a city that ALSO does not exist, which would cause an astronomically high amount of hypothetical destruction. “The character has a lot of history  and sentimental value for us. You can’t just be OK with them changing him like that.” I am. I’m not immune to being bummed by the changing of a character, but here, I really don’t see enough change to make a big deal. The essentials of who Superman is are still in place. “How would you explain to your kid that Superman killed someone?” Like this, “Son, Zod wanted to destroy Earth. He wanted to completely annihilate all life as we know. Clark, Superman, didn’t want that to happen and in the heat of the moment he made the very hard decision to kill Zod. Also, none of this is real.”

Pictured: An Alien-man not actually flying.

 

Man of Steel is obviously the topical film here because of the video, but this is constantly happening. Green Lantern for example. Was it flawless? No. IN MY OPINION, the film probably could have benefited from a different director who was a little more familiar with the source material. But Ryan Reynolds was great, and really held the movie together. It was so cool getting to see THE GREEN F—ING LANTERN use his ring and create stuff and fight The Paralax. I mean, we got to see that! In (mostly) real life! Or how much s–t the Ghost Rider movies get. You all know what to expect from Nick Cage at this point. If you go into one of his flicks thinking that it’s going to scale back the lunacy, then you’re greatly kidding yourself and you should just stop watching movies all together. The second one, Spirit of Vengeance, is so balls-out ridiculous that if you took it seriously for one second and complained then you’re oblivous and you missed the point. It was supposed to be excessive and insane.

Not trying to win any Academy Awards here…

 

One of the all-time worst is when “celebrity” nerds annihilate something. I follow lots of comic book creators and comedians on Twitter and when one of them trashes a movie, or comic, or TV show it just bums me out so much. I feel like, you’re a creator. You make something from where once there was nothing, just like those people did, and yet completely forgetting how exhaustive and draining the creative process is, you just cruelly disassemble their art. Because, for whatever reason, you don’t deem it worthy enough. I don’t comprehend that. Knowing how much of yourself you give to and put into a project, how can you possibly justify criticizing someone else who’s doing the same thing? Simply being a fan, I feel like there’s something I missing, or ignorant to, that allows that behavior to be tolerated. Maybe it’s just a vicious cycle. Like, maybe one guy did it once and ever since celebrities just think it’s OK to criticize one another because they’re all in the same business. I still have a hard time understanding it though.

I recent heard Will Smith say that he tells his kids, “Your art is a gift to people to help their lives be better and be brighter.” I think that’s a great quote. But It’s also kind of sad. Knowing how cruel “fans” and audiences can be, it’s sad that artists are trying to do something to make our lives better, and in return they get ridiculed for not presenting something “better”. “Oh yeah, well, they also get millions of dollars”. Oh so, status merits condemnation? They have more money so they’re better equipped to handle mockery? You realize how ridiculous that sounds, right? Flip that around, and have a millionaire artist criticizing a starving artist, and you’d crucify that person for their arrogance and egotism.

 

There’s a line of thought out there that says criticism forces the best from a person. I call bulls–t on that. It’s not your goddamn job to be Mr Miyagi to the entire entertainment world. All you’re doing is making people afraid to create art. “Well if they’re not fearless then they won’t make good art.” That’s exactly what a bully would say. Oh I’m sorry, you’re wondering how you’re a bully. Well, you criticize with your words in the hope that you’ll sway the creative process in the direction that you want it to go. You’re trying to force what you want out of people. Sounds like a f–king bully to me.

“Why don’t you make like Back to the Future 2 and be better than Back to the Future 3.”

 

My good friend, and fellow 4LN writer, Cam Clark and I have spoken about this issue at great length, and I’d like to share some of his thoughts, which are FAR less aggressive than that of my own…

Nerd culture is becoming more and more synonymous with Popular culture.  We have seen evidence of this with the ever-increasing popularity of movies that find their origins in the pages of comics, and the breakout success of TV shows based on Fantasy novels and graphic novels.  Unfortunately this has also heralded the coming of something much more malevolent – NERD RAGE.

As nerds, we are fortunate to live in a time in which several niches of the nerd realm are being actively brought to the forefront of mainstream entertainment, and that is pretty damn exciting to me.

Our favorite heroes are shown in movie theaters worldwide several times a year and the production values are astonishing.  Does this mean that every superhero movie that comes out is amazing?

Not at all.

There have been some pretty mediocre nerd movies in the history of motion pictures, BUT I do think that the hate that is shown over decisions made for movies that are still over two years away is getting a little out of hand.

There is a pretty common notion floating around that since superhero movies are so prevalent now then we DEMAND that they meet every single one of are expectations. Whose expectations you ask?  Who knows!  That’s the problem.  How many fans have how many ideas about how these characters should be brought to life? We won’t all get what we want, even if they make the best movie in the history of mankind.

That’s why I suggest we try to have what I call the “I’m just happy to be here” mentality.

I didn’t get a chance to see Man of Steel when it first came out (having an infant will do that), and before I finally got to see it I read so many reviews saying it was awful, that it didn’t live up to the character.  When I finally got a chance to see it, I’ll admit I was a little nervous, but as I watched Superman take flight I loved it.  I was just really happy to be seeing one of my favorite icons come to life.

This isn’t to say that these movies were up there with the top films of all time, but there is still something neat about seeing a character in a different medium.

“So what you are saying is I shouldn’t have any standards?”

Not really, I am just saying maybe try just enjoying yourself instead of railing against the cruel fate that made Superman kill Zod instead of… uh… wait, what were the other available options in that scenario?

I think it’s important to realize that there will never be a movie that meets every single on of your individual expectations and for the myriad of nerds out there that demand a movie that does, they are doomed to be perennially disappointed.  Millions of dollars have been invested into these comic book characters, and recently they are actually attracting some of best talent Hollywood has to offer to portray them.  Superheroes, who used to be relegated to straight-to-TV movies, are now Summer Blockbusters, and I am so excited about it.”

Pictured: Cam being my hero.

Pictured: Cam being my hero.

 

Now, for some brief humility. I’m far from innocent of this pompous attitude. I’ve even written articles on this very website where I shredded movies for no real reason. Just because I wanted to, and because I thought it was funny (I present to previous Back to the Future caption as exhibit A). I used my opinion to criticize and degrade someone’s art. And I’m ashamed of that. Being able to see the joy on my son’s face when he sees Superman fly, or when he sees Wolverine go berserk, and seeing how emotional he was while watching Thor 2, reminds me of the child-like wonder that we lose when we become adults. We act like the $10 and 2 hours we spent on a movie somehow merits a bitter attack on it. And most of the time, we don’t even spend that much. If you watch a movie for free, or steal it, then piss and moan about it, f— you. If you illegally downloaded it, you’re not only a dick, you’re a thief too. (However if you illegally download a movie and aren’t a jerk about it, then we’re cool. I know, I’m kind of a hypocrite too. Aren’t the 3 of you who actually read this glad you did?)

I know, it’s ironic that I call you a bully but then I seemingly bully you in return. Fighting fire with fire, so to speak. I consider myself less of a bully, and more of a Robin Hood. I’m trying to address an injustice that I’m witnessing, and doing what’s within my ability to right it. But then again, I already admitted to being a hypocrite, so maybe I am just a bully. All I know for sure is, I never want my kids to treat anything with disrespect. That includes “stupid” superhero movies and comics. I refuse to let my children feel entitled to anything. None of us deserve to feel entitled. I want them to feel joy and wonder when they see Superman take flight, or Thor hammering a Frost Giant, or Iron Man suiting up. But I want to retain that too. I want to watch movies and TV shows, and read comics, with the same appreciation and wonder that I did when I was a kid. Because imagination is what propels us. Not cruelty. That’s why that little boy makes your, and my, opinion irrelevant. All he sees is the amazing feat of Superman taking flight. To him that’s the most incredible thing he’s ever seen. The older we get the less we see flight. All we see is CGI, because we’ve lost our imagination. We experience life through a cynical filter, and it only breeds more cynicism in the world.

Ultimately, we all have the right to say what we want, and that includes criticism, so it’s not like I expect this to change anything. We need to understand how lucky we are to live in a society and culture where we can freely read and watch what we want without persecution. We shouldn’t take that for granted by treating art like garbage. We should learn to just be happy to be here.

“Worst. Blog Article. Ever. Also, you already used this caption joke in a previous article. Way to be original…”

 

Learn To Code & Make $90K In 3 Months

hackerschool

Are you currently working a job you hate getting paid minimum wage, or working a mundane desk job that offers no excitement? Are you spending tens of thousands of dollars on school and dreading the next 4 years of your life? What if I told you there is a job market where you can come in knowing nothing, train for 3 months and come out with a full time job making $90,000+ a year starting out, would you believe me? Welcome to the world of web development, my friends.

Demand For Web Developers Is Soaring

Web developers and programmers have always been needed to help create web products, but with the explosion of web connected devices over the past few years the demand for this talent is greatly outweighing the current number of people who can develop and program. Phones, tablets, televisions, game systems, cars and pretty much anything else you can throw a screen on are all having some kind of app or program made for them to increase functionality or create a better experience. All of this is made possible by developers.

It’s Not As Hard As You Think

Trying to understand programming is very intimidating to most people. Luckily, it’s a lot easier to start than you might think. Programming schools are spreading like wildfire now. I’m not talking about traditional 4 year universities, but a 3 month boot camp that has you building projects from day one. Often referred to as hacker schools, these boot camps generally cost no more $3000, some don’t even require payment until you land a job.

hacker-school-4ln

Fun Environments & Non Stop Work

A typical day in a hacker school has you learning an aspect of a programming language (Ruby On Rails is by far the most popular at the moment) and applying it to the given project at the time. Throughout your time in school, you’re constantly working on a product (a site identical to Flickr for instance) and learn what it takes to build it along the way. At the end of your time in the school, a job fair is generally hosted were various start-ups and other tech companies come in to browse talent and hire for jobs. Some boot camps have a job placement rate as high as 90%.

There are a few drawbacks to these hacker schools, though. These generally do not pay you to attend and you’re working anywhere from 80 to 100 hours a week on learning, so it is very difficult to hold a job. Most do not provide any lodging or housing, so if you’re attending from out of town it may be difficult to find a place to stay during your time here.

If you can get around those drawbacks and work your ass off for a few months, you will have a bright career path with unlimited potential to do whatever you want and work for pretty much whoever you want. This is a great alternative path, compared to more traditional career path routes. If you’re interested in computers or tech in general, this is totally worth checking out and considering. Below are links to some of the premiere hacker schools in the US.

http://devbootcamp.com/

http://www.hackerschool.com/

http://nashvillesoftwareschool.com/

Does giving up 3 months of your time like this sound beneficial, considering the payoff and potential at the end?