Much like the show, the Community panel was goofy and random, with a lot of heart and laughter. The topic de jour was, of course, the down to the wire save of the show by Yahoo online. Community creator Dan Harmon’s take on the different format was something along the lines of “You’ll be watching it the way you always watched it, now it will be legal.” The panel quickly devolved into the promotion of Dino Stamatopoulos’ (Star-Burns) new musical comic book as rapped by Jim Rash. The audience question portion of the panel took a similar turn when a question about Dan Harmon’s “throat noise” somehow ended with a date proposal. Then the crowd went wild upon the approach to the microphone of, not one, but two Greendale mascots, The Human Being. As for news about the upcoming season. Not much has been decided, but Harmon did mention that everyone might be a vampire.
This panel started out with a bang as Tyler Posey decided to cartwheel onto the stage only to be upstaged by a costumed wolf and props from the Teen Wolf costume department. Not being familiar with this show, its plot or the actors (too many Dylans and Tylers), the best part of this panel was experiencing the genuine camaraderie between the actors on the stage and their connection with their fans. The screams during the trailer and announcement of a 20 episode season 5 were the loudest of the day. When it came time for audience questions, the intensity of the mad rush to the microphone was topped only by the young girl who broke down in tears after asking Dylan O’Brien a question about his favorite supernatural character (Spiderman followed by Chewbacca). The excitement was contagious!
The big takeaway from this panel was: Bryan Fuller is awesome!. Plus it was exciting thrilling seeing Fuller and actress, Caroline Dhaveras, on the stage together as both were involved in one of my favorite shows, Wonderfalls. Apparently most of the room felt this way as half of the questions began with a laud for the long ago cancelled show about a GenY-er working in a souvenir shop at Niagara Falls who starts hearing inanimate objects speaking to her.
As far as Hannibal, there seemed to be a few spoilers dropped. A returning cast member who was shot in the face, a confirmation of the rumor that season 3 will start one year after the season 2 closer and a mysterious hint about Italy. Otherwise there was a lot of talk about creative deaths and what dish each of the panelists would like their dead flesh to be served in.
The Penny Dreadful panel was, despite Alisha Tyler’s semi lewd humor, the most intellectual panel of the day. Creator John Logan was quite revealing of the unique world he had developed, borrowing elements from Victorian notions and classic literature to create a backdrop for his array of conflicted characters. The theme of the panel – reflective of the show – was the monster within. There was much talk of how each of the characters have both a lightness and a darkness and how that is meant to reflect the light and dark found in each of us. Josh Hartnett, Reeve Carney and Henry Treadwater were all on hand to discuss how they felt about their characters Ethan Chandler, Dorian Gray and Victor Frankenstein respectively. The actors all seemed very involved in the molding of their characters. Hartnett was very invested in creating Chandler’s backstory, Treadwater spent quite a bit of time researching Victorian surgeries, became a master of the medical props and Logan admitted that the full incarnation of Dorian Gray did not come to him until he met with Carney.
Several audience members brought up the concept of sexuality and how it is portrayed on the show. Logan replied with a line about how the question of sexuality is irrelevant and its more about how people behave in the moment that is true to them.
Looking towards next season, expect more character backstories, more relationship development with all combinations of characters and some antagonism between Eva Green’s Vanessa Ives and a local medium introduced in season one. Also expect to discover, along with Ethan Chandler, more about his “lyconthropic episodes.”