Offseason 2023 – What Have We Been Watching?

The San Diego Comic-Con offseason will be wrapping up soon and the stream of convention news will be hitting your Twitter feed in no time. What have the UBlog team been doing during the offseason you wonder? Well, consuming all kinds of media just like you (probably).

But just in case you haven’t found time for the literally hundreds of TV shows and films from the last few months, our team has rounded up several of our favorites, including some you may not have tried out yet.


Favorite brand-new TV series

Kerry: If we’re talking what’s aired between San Diego Comic-Con and now, my answer is probably Interview with a Vampire. What a fun, lavish series with outstanding performances, and unlike the film, this version fully embraces the queer love stories at its center and it’s the better for it. I haven’t seen that much buzz about this one online, but I regret not going to the panel now, and it’s well worth your time. I’m hoping it’s back at SDCC this summer.


Erin: I absolutely devoured Extraordinary on Hulu. It was the right amount of humor, heart, absurdity and drama. In the same vein of humor, Sprung on Freevee might be one of my favorite shows of the decade. Everything from the “in the midst of the pandemic” time period to the phenomenal cast (Garrett Dillahunt? Be still my heart!) to a soundtrack that I have had on repeat since I first heard it, Sprung got me through a rough patch in the fall and I give it all my thumbs up.

Shawn: Willow – so fun!

Kara: Wednesday and Five Nights at Memorial.

Kim: The Last of Us – providing compelling characters with the excitement of zombie-like creatures.

Johnny: The Last of Us (somewhat by default because it’s the only brand new show I’ve picked up in the offseason).

Andy: Does the Night Court reboot count? If not, I’d have to say Obi-Wan Kenobi. The duel between him and Vader is what we all wanted to see in Episode IV. I’ve rewatched it at least four times.

Robert: I don’t have many to choose from but from what I have seen, The Last of Us so far is probably going to end up being my favorite new show.


Favorite season from a returning TV series

Kerry: At least in my corner of the internet, was there any more fun to be had this fall than watching The White Lotus‘ second season? From seeing whatever Hannah Montana-inspired catastrophe Portia put on every week, to Jennifer Coolidge’s line deliveries, to the way Meghann Fahy could say everything with a single look, to Aubrey Plaza truly coming into her own — this season topped the first for me, and that was no easy task (but I’m here for the current Murray Bartlett renaissance happening elsewhere, as anyone who watched Looking knew he was a star). Thank god for HBO keeping weekly appointment TV a thing.

James: We just started Ted Lasso so I’m counting it.

Erin: After what felt to me like a rough start, What We Do In The Shadows Season 4 ended up having a few of my favorite episodes to date, including the very fun “Night Market” and the wacky “Pine Barrens”.

Shawn: For All Mankind — so amazing!

Kara: Abbott Elementary and Welcome to Flatch.

Kim: Does Daredevil via She-Hulk count? if not, then Star Trek Lower Decks.

Andy: Technically, it hasn’t happened yet, but the last season of Star Trek: Picard will make my whole offseason. I can’t wait for it to start this week.

Robert: Barry season 3. 


One TV series you haven’t gotten around to watching yet

Kerry: I’ve seen the UK series and heard nothing but great things about CBS’ Ghosts, so it’s on my list. Maybe I’ll get Paramount+ and knock out that and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds in a month, which I’ve also heard nothing but praise for.

James: Way too many. But one is Only Murders In the Building.

Erin: I feel a huge amount of guilt at not having finished the first season of House of the Dragon yet. I don’t know exactly what happened but we missed watching it live and then a few weeks passed and other things came up and every time we thought about watching it, we just weren’t in the right mindset. I intend to get back to it, I truly do.

Shawn: Squid Games. I need more hours in the day!

Kara: The White Lotus.

Kim: Willow.

Johnny: Way too many to list, but the one that elicits the biggest reaction when I say I’ve never seen it is probably Breaking Bad.

Andy: Stranger Things. Yes, I know. But you’ll be happy to know I caught up with every Star Wars animated series.

Robert: I haven’t gotten around to Andor or The White Lotus yet.


Did anything you saw or interacted with at SDCC 2022 make you check it out in the offseason

Kerry: I didn’t go to the panel, but because HBOMax’s animated Harley Quinn had a presence at the con last year and I kept talking to people about it, I gave it a go in the offseason — and am very glad I did. It’s smart, funny, and James Adomian’s Bane voice is worth your time alone.

James: Technically yes, but before we went. We got Apple+ solely to watch Severance before SDCC so we wouldn’t be spoiled for anything. Beth just reminded me we also watched Paper Girls mostly from seeing ads all over SDCC (and Shawn’s recommendation of the comic).

Erin: Netflix’s The Grey Man was not on my radar at all, until I ran across that subway car and basically saved the day at the offsite. Though I had already watched Severance before SDCC, the immersive offsite renewed my interest and made me do a deep dive into internet theories and thoughts. 

Shawn: Definitely! If something gives effort at SDCC, we try to check it out. I really wasn’t interested in House of the Dragon prior to Comic-Con, but that offsite was incredible and I ended up trying the series as a result and really enjoying it.

Kara: National Treasure: Edge of History.

Kim: She-Hulk, House of the Dragon and especially Rings of Power which the SDCC panel itself got me excited for.

Johnny: Does interacting with the UBlog staff and then joining the team count?

Andy: Severance. The hype around the offsite piqued my curiosity, and I finally got around to watching it.

Robert: Without question House of the Dragon. I still was feeling burned by the last season of Game of Thrones but wow, HBOMax went all out with House of the Dragon at SDCC (I still have my hotel key card). I gave it a shot when the first episode debuted and never looked back, I was hooked. Also, I look forward to watching Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves only because I enjoyed the offsite so much.


Any book/graphic novel/comic series you have enjoyed post SDCC 2022

Kerry: I read The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay after seeing the trailers for M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin. If I’m being perfectly honest, part of me wishes I hadn’t read the book — because it was so good and powerful that it made me hate the film. If you have seen the film first and are wondering if the book is better — the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Erin: One of my favorite novels was one that I picked up on a whim at SDCC: Wretched Waterpark, Part One of the Sinister Summer Series by Kiersten White. It is akin to the Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snicket and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys young-adult fiction. The best graphic novel I read in 2023 was Kate Beaton’s Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands, a brilliant memoir from Drawn & Quarterly. 

Shawn: So much!  I go back and forth between Marvel, DC, Image, etc but in the span since July, Marvel has been many of my top choice: Aaron’s run on Avengers, Avengers Forever and Punisher has been so great! Right there with them are books like Avengers: War Across Time, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Hulk, Moon Knight, Namor, She-Hulk, Star Wars: Thor, Venom, Wasp, and Timeless, and, of course, Image’s Saga is always an immediate read when it comes out.


You can only recommend one film that was released in the offseason, which is it

Kerry: The most fun I had at the movies last year was Barbarian. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re into horror, it has so much fun with the genre while still leaving you on the edge of your seat. I remember leaving with the biggest smile on my face, and thinking that was probably not an appropriate reaction. As everyone on the internet has said, go into this one as blind as you can.

James: Glass Onion. Not as good a mystery as Knives Out but it was more fun.

Erin: What an impossible task! If forced to pick only one, I’m gonna have to back Rian Johnson and Glass Onion.

Shawn: The span from SDCC until now hasn’t been a favorite for me, so I’m cheating and throwing out RRR because everyone needs to see this gloriously bombastic film that’s on Netflix and seems to find new viewers each day. It kind of feels like a new release because the Netflix burn since May seems to just keep getting stronger. If this is illegal…I’ll go with The Menu. Fun, but no RRR.

KaraGlass Onion.

Kim: Violent Night.

Johnny: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (unless someone else has claimed it! Then it’s The Menu).

Andy: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Bring tissues.

Robert: Bullet Train was released not long after SDCC 2022 but I didn’t watch it until the end of the year. Not a masterpiece by any means but its just a fun, entertaining movie with likeable characters.

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