Dennis Farina had lived a life.
Even if you didn't know that Farina — who died Monday at the age of 69 after suffering a blood clot in his lung — had spent nearly 20 years as a cop in his native Chicago before director Michael Mann decided to cast him in his movie "Thief," it was clear from all Farina's performances that this was a man who had done things and seen things that your average character actor had not. He had enormous ease in front of the camera, and could be wildly funny and charming, but there was always something behind his eyes suggesting that the disarming smile could go away in an instant and be replaced by something very cold and hard and dangerous.
Dennis Farina had lived a life.
I'm taking a few days off to recuperate between Comic-Con and press tour, but I wanted to acknowledge what was a pretty special episode of "The Killing" last night. Spoilers coming right up...
A quick review of tonight's "The Newsroom" coming up just as soon as I Google "Alan Sepinwall hate"...
A quick review of tonight's "Dexter" coming up just as soon as I'm majoring in beautiful...
It's taken the Comic-Con organizers a while to catch on to just how beloved "Community" is by the Con crowd, but the series finally gets a promotion to the big stage in Hall H, and for a panel that should be very interesting due to the return of creator Dan Harmon, who'll be appearing alongside returning producer Chris McKenna and stars Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Jim Rash, and Ken Jeong. (Joel McHale is busy filming a movie, Donald Glover is reportedly cutting back his involvement with the show, and Chevy Chase is... gone.) The crowd was enthusiastic enough last year in Ballroom 20 with replacement producers Moses Port and David Guarascio, but they adore Harmon. And Harmon has been blunt to a fault at times about his opinion of the one Port/Guarascio season. Will he be able to contain that impulse today, or will the sight of 6000 screaming fans bring out his exhibitionist impulses? Will he say what the plan is for dealing with the events of the Harmon-less season? How much, if anything, will they say about Glover's status? And what will the energy of the panel be like without McHale as the usual ringleader?
Sunday tends to be the lightest day of Comic-Con. The movie studios go home, and so do many fans who bought 3-day passes and fly out in the morning. But a "Doctor Who" 50th anniversary panel featuring Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and David Bradley (star of "An Adventure in Space and Time," an upcoming film about the origins of the franchise) made today's line for Hall H one of the longest and craziest of the Con. It should be a packed, delirious house for the Doctor, Clara and company. It's Matt Smith's farewell Con as the Doctor, as he'll be leaving after the Christmas special. The question is whether Moffat will announce his replacement in front of these 6000 American fans, or if he'll wait til he can announce it via a UK outlet.
As long as the wifi holds up, I'll be live-blogging the whole thing, so check back frequently for updates.
Time for the final day of Comic-Con, and the final Comic-Con appearance of "Breaking Bad." The AMC drama was a big hit last year in Ballroom 20, despite not being an overtly Con-friendly series, and the farewell panel has been updated to the convention center's enormous Hall H. On hand will be stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, R. J. Mitte, and Bob Odenkirk, plus creator Vince Gilligan. Assuming the ballroom wifi holds up, I'll be live-blogging the whole thing, so check back frequently for updates.
"How I Met Your Mother" doesn't fit the classic definition of a Comic-Con-friendly TV show, but that definition becomes less relevant with each passing year. What we have here is one of the most popular comedies on television, with a cast that includes Willow Rosenberg, Dr. Horrible and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill. Between those two factors, "HIMYM" should easily fill the mid-sized ballroom they've been slotted in. (Fans have been camping out in line since yesterday.) The panel will have the full cast — Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel — plus creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays and the series' longtime director Pamela Fryman. You know that I'm incredulous that Thomas and Bays actually mean to stretch the final season over the long weekend of Robin and Barney's wedding, but maybe the panel will shed more light on exactly what that'll mean, and whether the wedding may just be a framing device while we visit the past and future of the gang and the Mother (new castmember Cristin Milioti). Assuming the wi-fi holds up, I'll be live-blogging the whole thing, so check back frequently for updates.
Yesterday,"Veronica Mars" made a successful return to Comic-Con with most of the core cast from the movie and creator Rob Thomas entertaining the huge crowd in Hall H with memories of the series and teases about what's going to happen in the film. I live-blogged the panel as it was happening, and was pleased with the bits of movie footage we got to see. Now the clip reel — including scenes from the movie, plus the actors and Thomas talking about the whole Kickstarter phenomenon that made the film possible — has been posted online. It gives some sense of where Veronica is in her life at age 28 and lets you see all the regulars (and a great joint interview between "Party Down" alums Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr), but doesn't give away much about the film's plot or some of the other casting surprises that Thomas hinted at on the panel.
Time for my third and final Comic-Con live blog of the day from Hall H, with what may be the biggest "Game of Thrones" panel to date. Scheduled to appear: showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and stars (some current, some former) Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie and John Bradley (Sam). And as a change of pace, George R.R. Martin won't be serving as moderator, with Elvis Mitchell leading the discussion, potentially in some very different directions from previous con appearances. Assuming the wifi holds up (which it has for live-blogs of "Veronica Mars" and "The Walking Dead"), I'll be posting updates pretty frequently, so keep reloading until I say we're all done.