Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

September 22, 2014 at 12:40pm

Nerd Alert! - Millennium Falcon update, The Amazing Race premiere, Outlander finale, Masters of Sex ...

"Outlander": A married World War II nurse is mysteriously transported from 1945 to 1743 in the Scottish Highlands, where she's held captive by hunky Scottish warriors in an even more patriarchal, misogynistic society than the ’40s.

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Making point five past lightspeed, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

J.J. Abrams revealed last week that among the "special modifications" on Star Wars, Episode VII's Millennium Falcon is a toy-sized model of the Tumbler, aka the Christopher Nolan Batmobile. No joke, I just think it's hilarious that with all the Marvel options in the grand Disney corporate family tree at his disposal, Abrams went with an Easter egg from the DC universe instead.


Laika Entertainment, the macabre-motion animators behind Coraline and the underrated ParaNorman, bring us a quirky new family offering, The Boxtrolls - or, as it's known in overseas markets, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Otherwise, it's all about the telly this week. As for me and my household, we're psyched for the season 25 premiere of The Amazing Race (8 p.m., CBS). Its cast includes TNA wrestler and surfer Bethany Hamilton, the shark attack victim who wrote about her brush with Bruce in a memoir called (and filmed as) Soul Surfer. If you're wondering what TNA wrestling is, by the way, I gather it stands for "Total Nonstop Action" and is a thing one can watch. "So if ya don't know, now ya know." - B. Smalls, 1994

>>> Photo credit: John Paul Filo/CBS


It may be that you're a fan of the Starz series Outlander, which starz the improbably named Caitriona Balfe as the nearly-as-improbably named Claire Beauchamp Randall. She's a wartime nurse who finds herself time-shifted back to 1743, Scotland. The show is, after all, produced by Ronald D. Moore, beloved mastermind of Syfy's glorious reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Diana Gabaldon's 1991 novel, along with seven sequels, two readers' guides and a graphic novel to date, is enormously popular throughout the English-speaking world. Me, I find it about as intriguing as its British/Australian title, Cross Stitch, but I get where you're coming from. Sci-fi-fantasy-tinged period romance blows your kilt up; more power to you. The midseason finale airs Saturday at 9, the last ep till early 2015. As I write this, Scots are voting "aye" or "nae" on whether they want to secede from the United Kingdom.

Remember, ye bonnie voters: if it's not Scottish, it's crap! Live from New York, it's Saturday night! SNL returns for season 40 (!), with star-lord Chris Pratt, musical guest mite Ariana Grande, and Darrell Hammond returning to fill the late Don Pardo's resonant shoes as show announcer. I love that.


Speaking of SNL, Not Ready for Prime Time alumnus Andy Samberg is featured on a laughtrack-free sitcom you ought to be watching, Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It airs from 8:30 to 9, so you'll have plenty of time to slip into something more comfortable for the 10 p.m. season finale of Masters of Sex over on Showtime. I mean, you know, like, if you're into that sort of thing. Er. I mean, not that I'm judging if you are. That's between you and your special someone, you pervert.


Transformers: Age of Extinction hits home video, so feel free to throw it on your Netflix queue just as soon as you've seen literally every movie that earned more than 16 percent on RottenTomatoes.com. Yes, Battleship, too. Have some principles, will ya?

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you earn your MS degree. Bao chicka wow wow! (Hey, remember when porn featured wah-wah guitars? ... Nah, me neither. I was just testing you. Moving on.)

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