The Emmy’s!

Before I lived in LA, reward shows seemed so glamorous. I was all about the gowns and the glory and the fake laughter. But now, being so close to all of that, it just seems rather tedious and boring. Why are these things still broadcast, especially the Emmy’s?! No one actually watches TV anymore do they? Why would we when everything’s streamed online or torrented or recapped on Twitter and Facebook? The only thing I find interesting is who won in each category, which I don’t need three hours of television to tell me. So in case you were also wondering who won, I’ve compiled a visual list to save you some time and brain cells.

And the Emmy goes to Ty Burrell


And the Emmy goes to Louis C.K.

And the Emmy goes to Allison Janney

 And the Emmy goes to Jimmy Fallon and Uzo Aduba

And the Emmy goes to Jim Parsons

And the Emmy goes to Julia Louis-Dreyfus

And the Emmy goes to The Amazing Race

And the Emmy goes to Kathy Bates

And the Emmy goes to Martin Freeman

And the Emmy goes to Fargo

And the Emmy goes to Benedict Cumberbatch

And the Emmy goes to Jessica Lange

And the Emmy goes to The Normal Heart

And the Emmy goes to Aaron Paul

And the Emmy goes to Anna Gunn

And the Emmy goes to Julianna Margulies

 And the Emmy goes to Bryan Cranston

And the Emmy goes to Modern Family

And the Emmy goes to Breaking Bad




5 Ways to Feed Your “Penny Dreadful” Addiction Until Season 2

UPDATE: This post has been republished and featured on The Mary Sue!
View it here:

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives

Living in Los Angeles, there are advertisements for new movies, TV shows, and music everywhere. Most of the time they’re an eyesore as studios wrap entire city buses with them or cover large billboards in Hollywood with them. However, the ads for Penny Dreadful had me intrigued. I loved the name even though I had no idea what it meant. The letters were blood red and everything else was black. The mood was dark and gothic and mysterious. Some ads only featured Eva Green and Josh Hartnett, while others included more of the cast like Timothy Dalton and Danny Sapani. The actors stared, brooding and serious, and I thought “This is my kind of show!”

The gothic nature of Penny Dreadful also attracted a few friends of mine and inspired a “Goth Night In” viewing party of the pilot episode. We were riveted and discussed where the series might go as we began to recognize familiar characters: Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, Van Helsing. Although I was unable to keep up with weekly viewings of the show, I watched an episode when I could and quickly became obsessed.

With only an 8-episode season, Penny Dreadful was over in a flash and I was left wanting more. Luckily, I was able to attend Comic-Con and attended the Penny Dreadful panel. Showrunner John Logan promised an expansion of the universe in season 2, which will include more about Ethan Chandler’s past and the importance of Madame Kali. While that did quench my thirst temporarily, I find myself now in Penny Dreadful withdrawal, looking for anything to tie me over until Season 2. Here are five great ways fellow Dreadfuls can feed their addiction.

5. – Pre-Order the Soundtrack on Amazon

If you’re a soundtrack fiend like me, you probably noticed the beauty of the music in Penny Dreadful. The opening theme is incredibly moving and a perfect intro to the show. It also makes me think of someone running from their demons, (whether literal, sexual, or whatever) and then being overcome by them which creates this emotional roller coaster played out with the various string instruments. Every time I hear it, I get really excited and sad at the same time. Oh, the power of music! You can pre-order the soundtrack for Season 1 on Amazon here. The release date is August 19th, which is only five days from now!!! What are you waiting for?!

4. – Subscribe to the Penny Dreadful Channel on YouTube

For anyone who wasn’t there, or for those who just want to relive the magic of Comic-Con, videos from the panel are up on YouTube. There are also a multitude of clips from the show, production blogs with behind the scenes video, and interviews with the cast. With a count of 65 videos on their channel, there’s enough content to last a few hours, and that’s only the first go round of viewings. Here’s a taste of what you can expect to find:

3. – Swoon Over Reeve Carney and his brother Zane Carney’s music

While this isn’t directly related to the show, it is related to Mr. Dorian Gray himself, Reeve Carney! Reeve and his brother Zane have a band appropriately named Carney and have released two albums of material. Their music is blues influenced rock with sexy undertones that channels classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. There’s even a hint of Jeff Buckley in Reeve’s vocal delivery, which excites me greatly as he will be playing Buckley in the biopic Mystery White Boy. Both brothers also have solo projects with Zane playing a residency at the LA club Hotel Cafe for the month of August, and Reeve releasing an album in 2015. Check out their circus themed video for “Love Me Chase Me” below.

2. – Follow the Cast and Crew on Twitter

If you’re social media savvy, check in on some of the cast and crew on Twitter along with the official Penny Dreadful account.

@SHO_Penny – Offical Twitter page. Posts updates on the show, videos, news articles, RTs from cast and crew, merchandise, etc.

@ReeveCarney (Dorian Gray) – Reeve posts about his music, his brother, and the show a lot. He was quite active leading up to Comic-Con as well.

@ReeveCarney: Just Read the first episode of Season 2 of @SHO_Penny...My goodness...Boy, ami I excited...!!!! :) #johnloganrules

@BilliePiper (Brona) – Posts on Penny Dreadful, Doctor Who, stage plays, award show appearances, and more.

@DannySapani (Sembene) – Apparently he’s a big stage actor in Britain, currently appearing in Medea. Lots of posts about Penny Dreadful and some about his activism for various causes.

@ChrisWKing (Supervising Producer) – He only joined Twitter a few weeks ago, but is posting a lot of behind the scenes photos.

@SaritaAllison (Key Prosthetic Makeup Artist) – She is responsible for The Creature’s makeup as well as the master vampire on the series. She also worked on the Harry Potter films creating prosthetics for the goblins and Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique makeup in X-Men: First Class.

@JamesEHawes (Director) – The show switches off between directors, but he is apparently directing the first episode of the new season. He posts about the show as well as political issues.

1. – Interact With the Show on the Official Website

If you haven’t been to the website yet, become a part of the demimonde and explore! There is so much to do on there you can get lost for hours just clicking on things. You can have a tarot reading done, explore a map of the Penny Dreadful universe, and even hear classic Victorian poems read by the cast. The website is a very unique way of interacting with the show on a very intimate level.

Penny Dreadful Tarot Reading

I’ll be keeping up with updates on Season 2 as they’re released so keep it locked to Sonic Iris! ❤

RIP Robin Williams

RIP Robin Williams
Robin Williams at the premiere of Happy Feet, 2011

It’s hard to find the words when someone dies. There is shock and sadness and anger at the realization that the person no longer exists the way they did before. They’re no longer corporeal and so you cannot hug them, laugh with them, or make new memories with them. But something does linger on and it is the memory and meaning they have created for you. Each person is a gift and it’s important to remember and cherish them. In this ever changing, social media centric society we live in, we need to continue to value people more than media. Most importantly, we shouldn’t be afraid to get close to one another and reveal our vulnerabilities. It is these very things that make us human, which is something that we cannot escape.

I definitely feel the weight of Robin Williams death as if I knew him, but in a way I did. For someone as lucky as he was to be doing what he loved, his work was his life, and to know his work was to love him. He was a household name to my generation and we grew up loving The Genie in Aladdin, Peter Banning in Hook, and Alan Parrish in Jumanji, along with so many other great films. Tonight, I watched The Birdcage in tribute and toasted a glass of wine in his memory. My Facebook feed was full of tributes, memories, and comments about him as I’m sure yours was too. As his wife Susan Schneider was quoted as saying by CNN:

As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.

He will surely live on as a great comedy genius and film legend. An Oscar winner. An idol. A husband. A Dad. And a sensitive soul. May he rest in peace.

Better Call Saul Teaser Released

AMC aired a short 10-second teaser last night introducing the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul. The series is going to be a prequel of sorts, following Jimmy McGill on his journey to becoming the man we know and love as Saul Goodman. The teaser doesn’t say much about the show, but I’d imagine that more teasers and clips will be released in the next couple months. The premiere is set for February 2015 and will have 10 episodes. Check out the clip below!

Wu-Tang Clan on The Daily Show!!

First of all, can I just give props to Jon Stewart for being the one to get all nine members of Wu-Tang Clan to have their reunion on his show? That has got to be the first time they’ve performed or been seen all together in almost seven years. It really was a historic event in music and that was some lucky audience.

It was no happy accident that they appeared on The Daily Show, however. They’re promoting a new record called A Better Tomorrow, which has been almost three years in the making due to feuding and their solo careers. Set to be released in November of this year, they debuted their first single, “Ron O’Neal” on air. Ron O’Neal was an african-american actor in blaxploitation films like Super Fly. Apparently, he had a stage career as well, appearing in many Shakespeare plays. I’m curious to read the lyrics and see what they have to say about him.

Wu-Tang Clan performing Ron O'Neal on The Daily Show for Reunion

When they performed “Ron O’Neal,” it seemed like they didn’t quite have a handle on the song and where it fit into the rest of their library. Method Man starts things off with his signature smoothness setting the groove. While he’s doing his thing though, the rest of the guys are just sort of standing around bobbing their heads. There’s none of that classic Wu-Tang energy going on that they’re known for. It really isn’t until the middle of the song when RZA takes over and really digs in that the song gets good. Hopefully, the rest of the album is a little more promising.

Luckily for their fans, they ended the show with “Triumph,” which is from one of their first commercial albums. That was back when they were a much more collaborative unit and didn’t all have solo careers inflating their egos. As soon as they started the song, the past fifteen years seemed to melt away and they were The Wu again. It was much more obvious that they were enjoying themselves and loving the comfort of an old song that put them on the map. I want to see more of that when they go on tour again to support this album. Maybe they’ll inspire a whole new generation who will be drawing the W logo on all their school notebooks and folders like me and my friends did. Wu-Tang Forever baby.

The Wu-Tang Clan performs "Triumph" on the Daily Show

Watch the full episode on Comedy Central.

“Alligator Wine” – Jeff Buckley vs. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

While customizing this blog to ready it for publication, I opened up Spotify to give myself a soundtrack to work to. I didn’t have anything particular in mind, in which case my go to music is usually something I’m intimately familiar with already. Seeing as I was reading old blog posts earlier today where I mentioned Jeff Buckley, I figured I’d let him guide me in creating this Frankenstein blog.

Although I don’t own this version, I put on the Grace – Legacy Edition because I was curious about the extra tracks that were included. Seeing as Jeff died so young, and before he could really put out another full album of material, a lot of the bonus or rare tracks from him are covers. One song in particular stuck out to me as it wasn’t typical of his style. The song is “Alligator Wine,” and it can only be described as a deranged creeping piece of blues music, characteristic of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins weirdness and theatricality.

Jeff Buckley’s version sticks relatively close to the original, at least in terms of the basic song structure. My theory is that he was just fooling around in the studio and they decided to record the song just for fun. His vocal exaggeration attempts to mimic Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, but just ends up making him sound like a punk rock boogeyman. I love the “hoooah’s” and “bloooah’s” he makes at the end of a phrase. He even sneaks in a sneeze after the line “It’ll make you cough and sneeze.” The most entertaining part of the song though, is around 2:16 when he sounds like he’s screaming in Chinese. That’s when he just lets loose some crazy gibberish in between finishing the song with one last chorus. It was really fun to hear that side of him. Take a listen to his version below.

Jeff Buckley - Grace Legacy Edition Album Cover
Jeff Buckley – Grace Legacy Edition

Jeff Buckley – Alligator Wine

If you’re not familiar with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, his claim to fame was the song “I Put A Spell On You.” You know the one; it’s on everyone’s Halloween playlist. Well this song is equally spooktacular, but definitely underrated.The beginning of the song is just drums and guitar, like in Jeff Buckley’s version, but at the first chorus, a piano and saxophone come in as well. Screamin’ Jay’s typical macabre depravity is showcased in his lyrics as he describes how to make this so called alligator wine. Around 2:33 he starts to lose his mind and sputters out these half laughs, which ends in an odd cough/laugh hybrid and him questioning “Could we hear that?” Hear what man? You losing your mind? I sure heard it. Listen to the original wackiness below.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins Cow Fingers & Mosquito Pie Album Cover
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Cow Fingers & Mosquito Pie

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Alligator Wine