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Sci-Fi’s 10 Most Annoying Characters

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NotSimplyIt’s happened countless times. You’ve got an otherwise great show or movie that’s firing on all cylinders… but there’s this one guy. This one bad apple who nearly spoils the whole bunch, simply by constantly doing stupid things or saying stupid things or hanging around looking at things with his stupid face. We’re not saying Carl from The Walking Dead was like that, but we are saying that if we had an awards show for that sort of thing, it would just be one long montage of Carl dying.

So, we’ve decided to celebrate some of the absolute worst, the characters from science fiction television who constantly made us want to punch a wall, especially if their head was between our fist and said wall. We’ll be measuring them against the accepted international unit of measurement for terribleness, Jar Jar Binks. (For purposes of this article, five Jar Jars is equivalent to going full Jar Jar, meaning you should nuke the site from orbit, because it’s the only way to be sure.)

One last note: we didn’t set out trying to populate this piece with so many kids, but it just sort of worked out that way.

IHOPCarl Grimes (The Walking Dead)

For all of its strengths, The Walking Dead can’t ever seem to get over the hill that is “strong character development.” There are likable characters and detestable characters, but Carl Grimes didn’t come from the mind of any mere writer, for he was created from the ashes of the former Tenth Circle of Hell. In Robert Kirkman’s comic series, Carl is a kid who is understandably having trouble coping with his trial-by-error education on survival in a post-apocalyptic world. In the TV show, Carl is a testosterone-free dip who is perpetually mad ’cause Daddy won’t let him hold the gun real close.

Seriously, I’ve been through an appendicitis exam that was less painful than watching this kid formulate ideas that he has an identity that’s worth more to the group than, say, a sock full of dead batteries. I don’t even blame the petulant performances from actor Chandler Riggs, because he’s not the one putting lines in his own mouth. For four seasons, Carl has been his own biggest threat, always finding himself in trouble after some adolescent tirade. He has yet to fuck it all up in Season 5, but as sure as the moon will rise tonight, it’s coming.

JJ5

How We Would Kill Him Off: Just as he’s about to have sex for the first time, he gets thrown into a giant dumpster, where everyone forgets about him and he starves to death.

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Under The Dome And Extant: Will They Be Back Next Summer?

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DomeExIf you’re a fan of CBS’ summer sci-fi slate of Under the Dome and Extant, we’ve got some good news for you. Both shows have been renewed by CBS, and will be returning for a third and second season, respectively. The Under the Dome news merits only a disinterested yawn as far as we’re concerned, but it’s good to see the underwatched Extant getting the chance to keep finding its footing. It’s also rather surprising given the show’s ratings.

Under the Dome soon became one of the biggest disappointments we’ve seen when it premiered last year. Sure, Stephen King adaptations have a hugely uneven success rate, but comics legend Brian K. Vaughan was aboard as showrunner, and how could we not be excited by that? Sadly, the show we got was by turns frustrating and ridiculous, so I bailed on the show at the end of the first season. As for Extant, I quite liked the premiere, but I didn’t keep up with it after that. I keep meaning to sit down and marathon it off Amazon Prime, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Still, I’m glad to see it getting a second season, because more sci-fi on TV can only be a good thing.

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Comic-Con 2014 Panel Vids For The Walking Dead, Interstellar, And More

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Comic-Con-LogoAnother massive installment of San Diego’s Comic-Con International has come and gone, leaving the fans to disperse to the four corners of the Earth, laden down with bags of swag. Of course, many people didn’t get to go this year, and there are even more who’ve never been to Comic-Con at all. Thankfully, this is the internet age, so even if you weren’t amid the throngs last week, you can still experience some of the awesomeness via the slew of panel videos that have popped up online.

These don’t give you the visceral thrill of being in the middle of 6,000 cheering geeks in Hall H, and you’re not going to get to see the really cool stuff like that Avengers 2 footage, but many of the panel discussions and Q&A segments are available online to watch in full. Check out the ones we found below, and if you want to recreate the experience more fully, feel free to watch them while crowded into a tool shed with 30 or 40 strangers. But you have to wait in line for 12 hours first.

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Comic-Con 2014: 14 Things To Do And See On Wednesday & Thursday

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WedThursComic-Con 2014 is only a week away. Thousands of fans and professionals will descend on San Diego and bury it in a thick coating of nerd several feet deep. There’s really nothing else like it, but the more years pass, the more overwhelming the Con becomes. There’s so much going on, it’s a monumental task just to figure out which of the countless panels and events you want to try and see. Well, we’re here to make your life just a little bit easier. Over the next couple of days, we’ll run down all the panels that should be at the top of your to-do list. Today we’ll start off with the events for Wednesday — “Preview Night” — and Thursday.

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David Letterman’s Under The Dome Recap Is Sarcastic Genius

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Since its inception, CBS’ Under the Dome has produced solid ratings and appears to be a rather popular program, but that’s somewhat surprising since you’re hard-pressed to find many people who legitimately enjoy the show. Critics aren’t particularly fond of the series, and damn near everyone you talk to gave it a shot, watched a few episodes, and ultimately abandoned it for greener pastures. Even David Letterman, who you probably know works for CBS, isn’t above mocking Dome, as you can see for yourself from this bit from his late night talk show.

Letterman’s recap of the series is brilliant. This video is comprised of the characters saying the word “dome” over and over and over again. Watching it is hypnotic, there’s a definite rhythm and flow to the editing that bounces you along. In order to drive that point home, Letterman plays the 20-second video through a second time, adding some musical accompaniment with Paul Schaffer and the Late Nite band adding a doo-wop style soundtrack.

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Under The Dome Returns For Season Two: This Week’s Sci-Fi TV

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DomeI wasn’t one of the folks who stuck with CBS’ Under the Dome last summer, as it shaved off my limited interest pretty quickly. Just for the sake of being informed, however, I sat back down and powered all the way through the first season a few weeks ago, so I can now honestly say: well, that was a mess. Just how much of a mess is doubly frustrating since that first season was under the guidance of Brian K. Vaughan, the otherwise brilliant comics writer behind Ex Machina, Y: The Last Man, and Saga. Frankly, I expected better from a show he was heading, and now this season he’s left to do other things. So the chances I’ll make it all the way through season 2 probably aren’t very good. Unless I get stuck under a mysterious dome and have nothing better to do. At any rate, Under the Dome returns tonight on CBS, so tune in and see what those pink stars are all about. (I’m presuming future seasons will address the question of green clovers, purple horseshoes, and and blue diamonds.)