Video Game High School Releases trailer for Third/Final Season

In a pleasant surprise the trailer for the last season of the acclaimed web series Video Game High School hit the web this month.

Last season saw the series blossom into full primetime TV format at a time when web series and streaming content are all finding a new kind of freedom in the ability to not adhere to thirty-minute or hour templates. It was a bold move that could have done some real damaged to VGHS, but ultimately the show came out with a strong second act leading us to an explosive conclusion.

The trailer promises us back all of our old cast, with increasing focus given to Dean Calhoun. Though mostly a background character early on in the series, Harley Morenstein has increasingly clawed his way to star billing through his combination of classic old school gamer misanthropy and occasional hints at a troubled, but deeply caring personality underneath all of it.

Brian D (Josh Blaylock), Jenny Matrix (Johanna Braddy), Ted Wong Jimmy Wong), and Ki Swan (Ellary Porterfield) are still suffering from the lines that began to divide them last season as they each pursue their separate paths and find themselves sin competition. I got to tell you, watching the break-up of the bromance between Brian and Ted was hard. Sure, it's nice to see Ted come into his own outside the shadow of his wunderkind best friend, but judging from the upcoming action he's probably going to need Brian at his back.

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9 Types of Houston Drivers We Could Do Without

Photo by Lindsay Shaver
Houston is enormous, and has a vast road and highway system to get everyone from point A to B. We've also never really embraced public transit systems in the Houston area. Sure, we have the buses and a rail system that doesn't really do much as of yet, but Houston is definitely a city where most people are driving their own vehicles to get around.

This puts a lot of cars on the road, and Houston has the dubious honor of being one of the most dangerous cities in America for driving. All of us come across certain types of drivers who make commuting around town risky, and we'd probably collectively applaud if they were magically banished from Houston's roads.

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Peace in Our Time Explores What a German-Occupied Great Britain Would Have Been Like

Categories: Stage

Photo by
L-R: George Bourne (Joe Kirkendall), Nora Shattock (Celeste Roberts), and Chorley Bannister (Joel Sandel) star in Peace in Our Time
In a departure from history and from his usual brittle and sophisticated comedies, playwright Noel Coward wrote a story in which the Battle of Britain was lost to Germany which has taken over England.

Little produced - it has a large cast and while it has humorous elements it is a serious work - Peace in Our Time is something the Main Street Theater had wanted to do for a while, according to Main Street's artistic director Rebecca Greene Udden, who will also direct.

University of Houston was looking for more outlets for its theater students since a lot of its main stage time is being taken up by the Alley Theatre during the latter's renovations, she said, and this play calling for 30 or more parts (winnowed to 24 in this production) seemed like a good fit.

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10 Real Houstonians We'll Need the Most in the Zombie Apocalypse

Night of the Living Dead
Many people have a zombie plan because they're a little insane. Me? I have a zombie plan for the whole city because I'm a lot of insane. It's all well and good to talk of fleeing north where the undead will freeze or fortifying an apartment building by destroying the stairs, but where's your pride and your sense of community? If we as a city have any hope of staying safe and sound in the event of a Brooks Level 3 or higher infestation of the living dead there are ten people that we definitely need to make sure are brought to the safe zones as soon as possible. These include...

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Reality Bites: Fat Guys In The Woods

"Just show us how to build a fire, Point Break."
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

Until now, it never occurred to me to review any of the shows on the Weather Channel for "Reality Bites." Not because it was necessarily lacking in the category (I'm still somewhat bummed I never got to check out Lifeguard! Southern California), but because I was afraid of outing myself as that least cool of misanthropes: the weather nerd.

I had an unhealthy obsession with TWC in my teen years that I can't rightly explain. I lived in central Texas, which isn't a particularly exciting area, climate-wise, but there was something hypnotic about that national radar loop, the Local on the 8s, and Marny Stanier. More than that, I think it was the awesome destructive power of weather on display that kept me hooked, even before I moved to Houston and had the "privilege" of riding out my first hurricane.

Luckily, the other night I came across Fat Guys in the Woods, which is only related to weather in that most primal sense: it'll kill you stone dead if you can't handle yourself. This is -- I guess -- especially true if you're overweight.

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Literary Inspirations: The Art of Carl Köhler

Categories: Visual Arts

Photo courtesy of Henry Köhler
Portrait of the playwright Antonin Artaud
Carl Köhler (1919- 2006) was a portrait painter who never met his subjects, at least in person, though he came to know them intimately through reading their books if they were writers, or learning about their lives, if they were politicians or celebrities. Köhler varied his artistic style to match the subject - for example, the portrait of the French poet, playwright and critic Guillaume Apollinaire was superimposed upon a newspaper.

While Köhler usually drew heads only, for Antonin Artaud, playwright, theater director and author of The Theatre of Cruelty, Köhler included his torso and hands as well . . . perhaps to permit applause?

There is an intellectual and emotional power in these portraits that is compelling. Köhler's subjects tended to be intellectuals, iconoclasts who challenged the rules of conventionality, and often lived outside these rules. For authors such as Henry Miller, Günter Grass and Franz Kafka, Köhler used woodcuts where the heavy dark ink suggested a seriousness of purpose.

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Houston Fashion Blogger Taylor McClure Proves You're Never Too Young for Style

Categories: Style/Fashion

Photos courtesy Taylor McClure
Did you know what you wanted to do with your life when you were 13 years old? Well, neither does Taylor McClure--not necessarily, anyway. McClure, who is in eighth grade, says that while her passion for fashion is what led her to create her own fashion blog, she hasn't mapped out her entire future quite yet. "I started my blog last summer," said McClure. "I'm usually really bored in the summer, and since I love fashion I thought a fashion blog might be fun." One day, while learning how to play the tune "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" the idea for her blog just came to her, and Somewhere Over the Runway was born.

Although fashion counts among Taylor's many hobbies -- she also golfs, and enjoys cross-country and track -- it's certainly a serious one.

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Incendium Gallery Gathers Houston Jewelry Artists to Show Off Local Flare at WhiteSpace

Irrepressible by Houston jewelry artist Melanie Hoo. Hoo's work is among that of nine artists showing with Incendium Gallery on Friday, September 12.
When Goldesberry Gallery closed a few years ago, local jewelry artist Ruth Brenton felt a gap open up in the local arts scene. "They were around for many years, and were a great supporter and resource," Brenton recalled. "After the owners retired, no one stepped into that niche." As time passed, Brenton felt that it was time for a personal transition, and the idea to start her own gallery took hold. Hoping to step into the void left by Goldesberry's exit, Ruth created Incendium Gallery and kicked it off with a premier at this year's White Linen Nights, showing the work at WhiteSpace Houston, where "Local Flare" will also be held.

"We had a focused show on Jan Arthur Harrel's work. She's a great enamellist, and very well-known in that segment of the art world," said Brenton. "She's taught enameling at Glassell for many years. Her work showed beautifully in the space, and it's kind of full steam ahead now."

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100 Creatives 2014: Octavio Moreno, Opera Singer

Categories: 100 Creatives

octavio moreno 1
Photo courtesy of Octavio Moreno
Octavio Moreno in "Don Pasquale" at Opera in the Heights 2013
Octavio Moreno, one of our nominees for Best Supporting Actor in August's Houston Theater Awards, grew up thinking of opera as people just screaming on stage. Not very compelling, not worth his time. He initially wanted to be a professional soccer player in Mexico, where he was born, but after a knee injury he had to rethink his plan. He then wanted to become a poet and study Hispanic literature--still no thoughts of pursuing music, let alone opera. It wasn't until he decided, completely on a whim and after overhearing a conversation outside of the building where he had to declare his course of study, that he wanted to study music that he considered it as a profession.

"I really, really loved words. I liked to write poetry, or at least what I think is poetry. It wasn't even until after four or five months of studying music and attending concerts that I started remaking my view of operatic songs," says Moreno.

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5 Creepy Things Lots of People Collect

Categories: Random Ephemera

Photo by the author
Old side show banners like this tend to be huge, and are very expensive.
There have always been folks who collected weird things. Of course, the idea of what is a "weird" thing to collect is completely subjective. To me, it's odd that lots of people collect modern super hero comic books, since they take up a ton of room and are printed in such enormous quantities that few ever seem to appreciate in value. But collectors of anything are a strange and dedicated breed, and trying to understand the appeal of many collectibles might be futile for a person looking in from the outside.

But there are some things that people collect which might seem unsavory to a majority of folks, not taken with the same collector bug. Things like:

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