Soap Opera Weekly: Blogging With Mala

On Sunday, I had the chance to sit in on the New York Comic Con press panels for NIKITA and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. It was really cool. The cast and powers-that-be of both shows were incredibly fun and knowledgeable, and gave some great teases for what’s ahead. (Check upcoming issues of Weekly for the dish!)

I’ve been wary of the NIKITA reboot so far — I was really into the 1997-2001 series — but listening to executive producer Craig Silverstein, Shane West (Michael), Lyndsy Fonseca (Alex; ex-Colleen, Y&R) and Maggie Q (Nikita) has persuaded me to keep watching with an open mind. Anyone following my Twitter knows that I’ve been particularly tough on nuMichael, so getting insight into West’s approach to the character was nice. I found my resistance to Michael totally wavering as West talked about trying to inject Michael with a little more emotion than past incarnations but also balance that with the times the character needs to rein it in. (I’m also not so hard-hearted that I can sit next to someone and keep being grouchy about their character. LOL!) Lyndsy Fonseca is absolutely luminous, and she gave big props to her soap training ground. Also handing out props was Maggie Q, who praised her years working in film in Asia for giving her the tools to handle the frenetic pace of NIKITA. And what’s the actress and action star’s big secret for kicking ass in all those fight scenes? Yoga.

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES contingent consisted of executive producers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, Steven R. McQueen (Jeremy), Katerina Graham (Bonnie), Sara Canning (Jenna) and Zach Roerig (Matt; ex-Casey, ATWT). And, yes, you can bet it was great to see one of my former ATWT people. Zach and I traded hugs and commiserated over the New York soap scene being down to one show. He also revealed that he would’ve loved to have come back for the ATWT finale, even if it was just in a walk-on role. Aw! Going back a little further than ATWT was my moment of “Whoa” realizing I was in a Q&A with Kevin Williamson. I’m from the SCREAM and DAWSON’S CREEK generation, okay? It was surreal, and I had to struggle not to fangirl a little. (Okay, okay, there may have been a tiny instance of “every episode is awesome!”) And Williamson’s co-pilot, Julie Plec, is just a riot. I think I want to be her if I ever grow up. Steven R. McQueen was a total charmer as he talked about Jeremy’s evolution. Katerina Graham and Sara Canning were lovely, and while Jenna’s probably not going to learn about the craziness under her own roof anytime soon, Bonnie’s exploration of her mystical side will continue.

It was a great set of sessions, and I think fans of The CW’s Thursday line-up have a lot of juicy stuff to look forward to this season! I’m one, and I’m certainly psyched!

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