July 18, the first official day of Comic-Con 2013 for me was insane. I knew I'd be hanging out in Ballroom 20 in order to make sure I made it to the Psych panel, which I was most excited about. I had also been looking forward to the X-Files panel, which I ended up missing for reasons that will be explained further into this post.
Anyways, I actually started the day with a massive headache that was verging on a migraine, and it didn't dissipate during the hour and a half while I waited in line for Ballroom 20 to open. However, I had prepared for such a possibility, and I did everything I could to make sure I'd be comfortable in my wait until I was let into Ballroom 20. I survived the wait, needless to say, and secured a seat in the third row of seating on the left side of the room, a few seats away from the aisle, but still able to see the stage from my position.
It was about another hour from the time I was seated until the first panel began, and it started late. That panel ended up being for the new CBS show Intelligence, which stars Josh Holloway, Meghan Ory, and Marg Helgenberger. We were treated to a screening of the pilot, which wasn't terrible. The show is about a man who has a supercomputer microchip in his head that allows him to connect to any information he wants via the worldwide information grid and the internet anywhere he is and at any time he wants. Overall, the pilot was intriguing, but I don't know that I'll be watching the show. I felt that it was very predictable, and the final moment of the episode was foreshadowed too much. The panel about the show was very short, and frankly, it didn't tell the audience much about the show. It felt very rushed, but fans were happy to have Josh Holloway in front of them (with short hair, no less). I zoned out, to be honest. I still had the headache. The next panel didn't help much either.
A new CW show, Star-Crossed, was the focus of the next panel, and it stars Matt Lanter, Aimee Teegarden, and Grey Damon. It's a show that can best be described as Romeo and Juliet meets Smallville meets the Civil Rights movement. The show focuses on a group of refugee aliens from another world crash-landing on Earth, wanting to make a peaceful home. Of course, humans are suspicious and segregate the aliens. The show could be amazing, but it tries too hard to push the equal rights agenda, and uses a lot of footage that seems like colorized versions of the protests seen when schools were desegregated when a small group of alien teens are allowed to go to a human high school. I really wanted to like the show, but I found it too predictable and my new friends sitting next to me in the panel were sort of shocked when I called out what would happen next after each scene ended. I was right approximately 95% of the time. After the show aired, there was a short panel with the cast that was awkward to say the least. The moderator tried to keep an upbeat attitude and act like the room really just loved the show. That wasn't the case, though. The whole room seemed to breathe a sigh of relief once the panel ended.
Beauty and the Beast was the focus of the third panel of the day. The panel had the show's stars, Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan, as well as the executive producers of the show, and was moderated by the one and only Jenna Busch, who is an incredible voice in the world of fandom. The panel didn't really give too much away about what's coming up, but as a non-viewer of the show, I found Jay to be very sweet and good with fans, even in a huge room of them. I'm still not sure if I'll ever check out Beauty and the Beast, but I know that I like the way the panel went and it left the whole of Ballroom 20 feeling happy and upbeat.
Finally, it was time for the panel I really wanted to see: Psych. I was thrilled to discover the one and only Dread Pirate Roberts was our moderator (Cary Elwes is awesome and kept the panel very high energy), and he clearly was having a great time, as was the audience. I really enjoyed the panel, especially watching Corbin Bernsen strike a pose at the front of the stage (because he didn't have an actual seat with his name tag on it at the table on stage). Corbin was hilarious, and he did a great job keeping the audience entertained as everyone else was brought out. Some of the other great moments included James Roday and Dulé Hill singing one of the songs from the upcoming musical episode, Psych producer Steve Franks and James having a battle of the new Twitter accounts (each started one and tried to get as many followers as possible - James won), and Maggie Lawson, Tim Omundson, and Kirsten Nelson just being silly and clearly having an awesome time on the panel. Thankfully, some people who saw the Psych panel posted it on YouTube, so anyone can go and watch just by looking it up.
My final panel in Ballroom 20 for the day was for Sherlock, to my disappointment, and even that I had to leave early. I only made it through about 15 minutes of the panel before I got up and left. However, on the panel was Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, and Sue Vertue. James Hibberd moderated. Sadly, nothing of note was shared before I left the panel, so I can't say much of anything about it.
After I left, I headed off to a mandatory meeting I had to attend for my job working the Eisner Awards this year. I had a great time at the meeting and my boss was fantastic and told the whole team about how I'd gotten James Marsters in as a presenter for the awards. The meeting was over pretty quickly, though, and I found myself exhausted. I met up with a friend of mine, and we took a rest against one of the walls at the convention center for a few hours until the panel she desperately wanted to see was almost upon us. I joined her there.
The next (and final panel) I attended on Thursday was the Behind the Music with CW3PR panel, which included a lot of talented composers this year: Geoff Zanelli (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), Robert Duncan (Castle), iZLER (Revenge), FM Le Sieur (Being Human), Chris Tilton (Fringe), Kevin Kiner (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and Michael Suby (The Vampire Diaries). The moderators were supposed to be Matt Lanter and Janina Gavankar, but Janina turned out to be unavailable for personal reasons. Instead, as her lovely boyfriend EJ Scott told me and my friend (we sat next to him during the panel), Deborah Ann Woll took her place as the co-moderator and did a fine job. She and Matt had a great list of questions to ask the panelists, and I was blown away by the responses to the questions asked. It was a great way to end my evening. However, once the panel ended, I flagged down Matt to talk to him a little. He graciously gave me a few minutes, and I was able to tell apologize for the audience response to the Star-Crossed panel, as well as explain why I thought the reaction was what it was. Matt took my comments into consideration, then replied by saying that the show is on CW and is meant to be a little schlocky. I hope it works out for him, since he seems to be a nice guy. Deborah stuck around for a while longer than Matt did, and she and I also chitchatted a little. She barely remembered me from previous interactions at past Comic-Cons, as well as a couple of True Blood events, but it was still nice to be acknowledged.
Overall, this was a great start to Comic-Con 2013. It's going to be a long (and yet short), probably bumpy ride, but it'll be lots of fun!