Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Degrassi: the Next Drinking Game

I hold Kevin Smith completely responsible for my husband’s interest in all of the Degrassi television shows. Now, when Smith mentioned Degrassi in his Clerks II commentary, he said that he was able to make a sequel to his movie because Degrassi did it too. When he said that, I thought he meant that Degrassi High was the sequel to Degrassi Junior High.

I was wrong. It turns out there’s another show called Degrassi: the Next Generation. It has a million seasons, and I guess they’re making more. It has some of the original characters as adults, but the show is about their kids. It’s very painful.

There is only one rule for the Degrassi: the Next Generation drinking game: Drink until the hurting stops.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


My husband was very worried that last year Dollhouse was going to get cancelled. Never mind that he never watched a single episode of it; he just wanted it to stay on the air because it’s Joss Whedon’s show.

(Terrible drawing by Fanboy Wife.)

Ash watched the 2009 season premiere of Dollhouse last week, and I tried to watch it too. I didn’t pay attention the whole time, but the gist of it is that it’s an action show. The woman who is the star was the evil slayer from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and she was the love interest in The New Guy. The show started with her wedding. She beat up a lot of guys and her stunt double jumped on the hood of a car. I think the point of the show is that she gets brainwashed every now and then and helps some spies. There’s also another brunette on the show who was brainwashed to be a doctor. The other brunette has fake scars on her face, and she is aware that she was brainwashed. I never figured out where the show got its name.

My favorite part of the show was at the end when the pathetic zombie walked across the screen and said, “Grrr! Argh!”

Monday, September 28, 2009

Benday Dots

(Drawing by Ben Edlund.)

Benday dots are those tiny little dots used in comics to show tone or secondary colors in comics. Modern printing technology doesn’t rely on them anymore, but some artists still use them for aesthetic reasons. Older comics and black and white comics will feature these small dots.

The technique was invented in 1879 by a man named Ben Day so shading could be produced in line drawings printed on a mass scale. Since printing in color used to be limited to the primary colors and black, printers could layer different benday dot colors on top of each other to make secondary colors. For example, yellow could be covered with blue dots to produce green. The dots are so small that the human eye blends to two colors together in a process called optical mixing.

Whenever my husband shows me a comic, I usually look to see if the artist used benday dots. If he starts repeating a story about the comic that bores me, I’ll retell my lecture on benday dots.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sucky Smallville 2009 Season Premiere

So, the 2009 season of Smallville premiered last week. It was pretty bad, but that’s not a big surprise. My hope is that if Ash watches Smallville as it airs he won’t have the need to buy it, but I’m sure he’ll purchase it anyway so he can have all of the commentary and other bonus features.
(Bad drawing by Fanboy Wife.)

If you need to spoil the season for your fanboy, this is what happened: Clark Kent wore black with a blue Superman “S” logo. Ash said in the comic he had a mullet, and I think he was a little disappointed that little Superman didn’t sport one for this episode. Lois Lane was chased by a ninja from the future, and the blonde girl who isn’t a character in the comics asked Clark to go back in time to bring Jimmy Olsen back from the dead. The guy from Dead Like Me a girl with a black eye were also in this episode. There was also something about a train. On a positive note, Superman’s best friend, Lex Luther, wasn’t in the episode. I don’t recall seeing Lana Lang either.

The season premiere set the bar pretty low, so be prepared for another season of suckage.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Custom-Bound Books

So you think your fanboy likes comics? You think he really likes comics? Perhaps he has several boxes filled with comics and a few bookshelves filled with omnibuses and trades? How do you know when your fanboy crosses a line? It’s easy to tell. Once he starts sending his regular comics to a bookmaker to have them bound in custom books, then you know he’s gone off the deep end. He’s truly far-gone if he has to go out of his way to search for missing issues to complete a run of comics.

(This is my husband's custom-bound Green Lantern book.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Evolution, with Apologies to Darwin

Evolution is a film by Ivan Reitman, who also made Ghostbusters. Perhaps David Duchovny’s role in this movie is why my husband became obsessed with The X-Files later on in life. Evolution is a cheesy movie about some aliens that evolve extremely quickly and attack the planet. David Duchovny and his entourage fight the aliens, and the movie ends with Duchovny giving an enema to a giant alien.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Noble Glue

Noble Causes is a soap opera for fanboys. It’s an ongoing saga about love, betrayal, adventure, and some other crap. If I wouldn’t have tuned out my husband when he was telling me about the books, I would be more knowledgeable on this topic.

The only thing I remember specifically about these books is that the publisher used terrible glue, and the pages fell out of the cover very quickly. Tacky glue and some binder clips will put the Noble Causes books back together if you need to suck up to your fanboy because you don’t listen to him when he’s talking about his comics…

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Blog

Long ago, in Gotham City, there was a little boy named Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne’s parents were stinking rich, but they died when Bruce was still a kid, and he was raised by his butler. As if being orphaned wasn’t bad enough, Bruce got bit by a radioactive bat and he became Batman.

(Drawing by Fanboy Wife.)
Batman is a brooding superhero who is also known as the Dark Knight. He mostly wears black, has pointy ears on his mask, a cape, and he has the Bat-Utility Belt. The Bat-Utility Belt holds many interesting gadgets and thingamabobs, including Bat-Shark Repellent!

Because Bruce Wayne is rich, he can afford lots of superhero toys. The most notable is the Bat-Mobile, which he parks in the Bat-Garage, which is connected to the Bat-Cave. I’m sure he must also have a Bat-Bat when he plays Bat-Baseball. The Bat-Signal tells Batman when he should try to steal second base… or when trouble is afoot.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

South Park

South Park is a cartoon on Comedy Central that’s about elementary students who are potty mouths and go on various adventures. The early episodes weren’t so terrible, but as the seasons progressed the creators became more and more concerned with being edgy, topical, and offensive and the quality of the show’s quality plummeted. (It wasn’t all that amazing in the first place, but I could watch it without complaining too much.) My husband has the first six seasons and he used to watch it on TV when it was new. While the earlier seasons were offensive, there sometimes seemed a purpose to the episodes or the jokes were sometimes funny. Take Mr. Hat, for example. Mr. Hat is a puppet that the teacher always carries, and it was based on a school that thought the teacher was too stupid to teach so they had her play a record and use a puppet.

As the years went on, South Park became less interesting to me. The last episode I watched of this show was when they made fun of Al Gore because it was very popular to ridicule him at the time. I didn’t even finish watching the episode.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Captain Britain

Captain Britain is a superhero from the United Kingdom. He is the personification of Britain, like Captain America is USA’s superhero. The two of them have been friends for a long time, but only after they smoothed out that rough patch when Captain America declared his independence from Captain Britain.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Angel, the Buffy Franchise Continues

If your fanboy is in love with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, chances are he owns every season of Angel as well. That way, he can alternate DVDs to watch all the episodes in chronological order just like they were shown when both shows were on the air. (Ash, my husband, uses two DVD players to make this task easier. Isn’t he clever?)

As much as I don’t like Buffy, I care for Angel even less. Oh no, he’s a vampire with a soul and he’s always sad. Otherwise, he’ll go on a killing spree and destroy the world. Blah, blah, blah… The reason he got his own show instead of staying on Buffy was because he got happy, went on a killing spree, and tried to destroy the world. Either that, or Joss Whedon wanted to milk the Buffy franchise for all it’s worth.

What I find most annoying with the show is Angel’s hair. It’s not like his head isn’t big enough, but someone thought it would be a good idea to gel his hair to make his head look gigantic! Perhaps his hair is so terrible because he’s a vampire and can’t see his reflection and no one had the heart to tell him.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

U for Uninteresting

V for Vendetta is one of the many comic-book based movies. Ash said that the original graphic novel was better, but I wouldn’t know. I never tried to read the comic, and I found the movie pretty boring.

The movie is about a guy in a mask with a goofy mustache who fights crime… I think. I don’t know; I really wasn’t paying attention while my husband was watching the movie. Anyway, the guy in the mask gets a sidekick, who shaves her head. She reads someone’s journal from prison, and she quits her job as sidekick.

There’s some fighting, if I recall. I read the back of the DVD case to see if it would jog my memory, but it didn’t do any good. It claims that there is some action in the movie, but I don’t remember. The DVD case mentioned at least twice that this movie was made by the people who made The Matrix trilogy. That should have been enough warning for me.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Love and Capes

Love and Capes is a comic by Thom Zahler, and my husband owns the trade paperback. It’s a comic book that’s actually a comedy, and my husband thought I would like it. After he finished reading it, I read it too. It really wasn’t too bad. It’s about a superhero, his girlfriend, her sister, his superhero friends, and his ex-girlfriend. It’s a spoof of Superman, and the main focus is on the characters’ day-to-day lives. If your fanboy has this book, you might want to read it so it will show that you are willing to partake in his interests. It’s a very quick read, and there are some good jokes in it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Season 8 of Smallville

I can’t believe that Smallville is still on the air! It’s such a bad show. In this season, Jimmy Olsen marries one of little Superman’s friends. Jimmy Olsen also dies, so he’ll never work for the paper with Clark Kent (aka Superman) and Lois Lane. It’s no big deal though, because the Jimmy Olsen that will work for the paper is supposed to be younger than Clark and Lois, not the same age like the guy in the TV show.

Some superheroes from the future also come back in time to help little Superman. They are shocked that Superman isn’t all that they thought he was going to be, but in the end they learn to love him.

If your fanboy brings this home and hasn’t seen it yet, you can torture him if he insists that you should watch it with him by telling him what happens.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


My husband loves the book Watchmen. It’s about a guy named Rorschach, and he has an inkblot disguise. There’s also a naked blue guy.

Ash doesn’t talk so much about the book as much as his disdain for the movie in more recent times. He never watched the movie because he knows he’ll hate it. However, anyone who knows that Ash likes comics always asks if he liked Watchmen the movie. They also ask him, “What’s the deal with the naked blue guy?”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And Now for Something Monty Python

Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the Monty Python movies are hilarious. If you’re in a relationship with a fanboy, you’re going to watch some Monty Python. This is okay because you’ll enjoy it too.

If you want to earn some geek points, here are some tips:

If you’re going to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, wear some exciting undergarments you knitted. No, I’m kidding. Just bring a coconut with you.

If you’re going to see The Life of Brian, bring some balm… or a fake beard…

If you’re watching The Meaning of Life, sing along. The lyrics are, “Every sperm is sacred. Every sperm is great. If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate!”

If the chosen film is And Now for Something Completely Different, be prepared for something completely the same. It’s a rehashing of their sketches. However, if you’ve never seen the show, it will be different for you and you should enjoy it.

If you get to see Monty Python’s Flying Circus, this is the television show. Ask to watch the episode with the Ministry of Silly Walks or “The Lumberjack Song.” You won’t be disappointed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Zach and Miri

Zach and Miri is a movie by Kevin Smith that doesn’t feature Jay and Silent Bob, which is too bad. It seems that his movies sans Jay and Silent Bob are pretty bad. This one is terrible.

Ash said that he is actually ashamed to have watched this movie, let alone own it! I’ve never seen it because he told me that I would hate it. The premise of this movie is that Zach and Miri are roommates who run out of money and decide to make a pornographic movie in order to pay their rent. Ash said that the first part of the movie was funny, but after they decide to make pornography, it’s not worth watching and it’s pretty terrible. The “highlight” of the movies is seeing Jason Mewes (Jay) completely naked!

According to the back of the DVD case, anyone who liked the movies 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Superbad would enjoy this movie. I never saw any of those films because they looked pretty awful. I guess if it was going to be a watchable movie it would have said, “If you liked Clerks, Dogma, or Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, you’ll love Zach and Miri,” instead.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Degrassi High, the Drinking Continues

Unfortunately for me, when the students at Degrassi Junior High went on to high school, the show went with them. Degrassi High is just as painful as Degrassi Junior High, and I still blame Kevin Smith for rekindling my husband’s interest in these shows.

For those of you in the same predicament as me, here are some new rules for a Degrassi High drinking game. Add these to the rules from the Degrassi Junior High drinking game.

1. If you hear someone pronounce “about” as “aboot,” take a drink. (Remember, this show was made in Canada.)
2. When a character is lying, take a drink.
3. Every time you see hockey hair, shout, “What the puck?” and take a drink.
4. When you see the twins, take two drinks.
5. Every time you see people socializing in the bathroom, make sure your hands are clean and take a drink.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Geek Pins

What does the nerd in your life do when it is not appropriate to wear a comic T-shirt? Mine has several geek pins that he can stick on his lapel. Oh yes, he’s that stylish.

(These pins are a tribute to the Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Scott Pilgrim

Scott Pilgrim is a series of graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley. My husband loves these. They’re travel size and they have a manga aesthetic to them, even though they're written by Canadian. (Manga is a style of comics popular in Japan. When these books are written in Japanese and translated into English readers have to read them back to front, so at the front of the book there is a stop sign that tells English readers how to read from right to left so they’ll understand the story.)

Ash’s favorite thing about these books is that in one of them there is a stop sign at the back of the book that states that it is the back of the book and the reader needs to go to the front.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Iron Man Movie

Iron Man is one of the few comic book movies that my husband enjoys. He usually hates them because he gets frustrated when a two hour movie leaves out information from a comic book story that had a 30 year run. Anyway, Ash likes Iron Man, which means that I get to watch it a lot.

This movie is about a guy named Tony Stark, who is a drunken whore. He also builds weapons. While he is demonstrating one of the weapons, he gets attacked by terrorists who used weapons that Stark manufactured. He is injured in the attack, and he has to have a battery in his chest to prevent shrapnel from entering into his heart. Stark eventually builds a super battery that powers a big metal suit, which helps him escape from the terrorists.

The rest of the movie is about Stark making better metal suits as his role as Iron Man. Ironically, he actually used aluminum instead of iron. Anyway, Iron Man learns how to fly, annoys his secretary, and fights bad guys. I think my husband like this movie so much because there is a scene when Stark’s robots think he’s on fire and spray him with a fire extinguisher.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hawkman Again

Ash keeps insisting that Hawkman’s head actually isn’t a hawk, but it’s a normal human head with a hawk-helmet. I am still waiting for some concrete evidence. To try to prove to me that Hawkman’s head is a human head, Ash showed me a drawing of Hawkman wearing what appears to be a cowl. Well, look closer! That’s just a blanket wrapped around the hawk to keep it warm!

Ash also told me Hawkman’s origin story. I thought Hawkman was a man who got decapitated, and in order to keep him alive a surgeon attached a hawk to his neck, kind of like what happened to Ganesh. I guess that’s not it. Apparently Hawkman was an Egyptian prince named Khufu in a past life. I asked if it was the Khufu who built the Great Pyramid during the Old Kingdom or a generic made-up Egyptian, but Ash doesn’t know. He also didn’t appreciate my tirade on how the ancient Egyptians didn’t believe in reincarnation, so the premise for Hawkman is ridiculous. Seriously, if they Egyptians believed in reincarnation they wouldn’t have built pyramids and tombs, which were meant to house an aspect of their souls for all eternity!

(This is the the real Khufu's Pyramid behind the Sphinx.)

If the creators wanted to push the Egyptian theme, why doesn’t Hawkman have an ancient Egyptian looking costume? Also, why does he have wings? In ancient Egyptian art, only Goddesses had wings. (Khepri had wings, but only when he was shown in scarab form. There is also a winged solar disc that is associated with a solar God, but it’s not an anthropomorphic Deity.)

Wouldn’t it just be easier to “retcon” Hawkman’s origin story and say that he was bit by a radioactive hawk?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Matrix

I remember hearing people talk about The Matrix when it was new and thinking, “Who would want to see a movie about math?” Perhaps the movie wouldn’t have been so bad if it really was just about math. My husband had a copy of it, and we watched it together when we first started dating. I should have run then, but I was young and in love.

The Matrix is a movie about Keanu Reeves, who may or may not be related to Steve Reeves. (Steve Reeves was a burly guy who was in a few bad Hercules movies decades ago.) Apparently, Keanu Reeves is a clever computer hacker who discovers that his life is a sham. He takes the DayQuil instead of the NyQuil pill and wakes up in a vat of goo. When he goes back to his sham life, he has to fight some bad guys and he has some superpowers. I heard a lot of people who found religious significance in this movie, like they found in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

This movie caused a fad when people would wear trench coats and bend over backwards. The Matrix also spawned a few sequels and cartoons.

Monday, September 7, 2009

He’s a Spider and a Man

It was a sad day for me when Ash pointed out that I do not know the words to the Spider-Man theme song. I used to think that it went like this, “Spider-Man. Spider-Man. He’s a spider and a man!” I guess I was wrong.

Spider-Man is a superhero that was once a nerd, which makes him relatable to fanboys. The nerd’s name is Peter Parker, and when he was a teenager he got bit by a radioactive spider that gave him superpowers. (In real life, when a nerd gets bit by a spider, he’ll usually just get a welt.) Even though he had some fun superpowers, Peter was negligent of crime and his uncle died as a direct result.

Haunted by his irresponsibility, Peter decided to use his powers as Spider-Man to fight crime. Spider-Man is fast, strong, and he can spin webs with his bottom, just like a real spider. He also has a “spider-sense,” which make him tingle. I think it helps him anticipate the future, just like psychic spiders.

Peter Parker is also a photographer, and he takes a lot of photos of himself as Spider-Man, which he sells to a newspaper. Additionally, Peter has trouble in his love life. He tries to date, but he never complains to the waiter if there is a fly in his soup. He usually just traps it in his webbing, which usually doesn’t entice women to try a second date with him.

(Drawing by Fanboy Wife, based on a picture by Jack Kirby)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Buffy News

I always get a kick out of it when fans link to my blog, which is often mean-spirited and would probably annoy most fanboys. Today, BuffyNews on Twitter linked to my site.

Buffy the TV Show

According to Joss Whedon, “Into every generation a slayer is born.” The slayer he gave birth to is Buffy. My husband never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it was on the air, but a friend of his got him hooked in college. There are many other Buffy properties, but I only want to address the television show for now so my head doesn’t explode in a fit of rage.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer lasted 7 grueling seasons. Even if your fanboy buys the entire series in the boxed set instead of each season on its own, you’re still going to lose a lot of storage space. He’s also going to want to watch all of the episodes, plus all of the bonus features. Days of your life will be sacrificed to this show. My recommendation is to pretend that this franchise doesn’t exist and hope he never takes an interest in it. If your fanboy already has a Buffy shrine, you have my sincerest sympathies.

This show is about a young woman who has super-demon powers that allow her to fight vampires. She also dates vampires occasionally. The show started when Buffy was in high school, and lasted through her brief attempt at college, her death, her resurrection, and her work at a fast food joint. Buffy’s sidekicks included a witch and a nerdy boy. I think fanboys like this show because they can identify with the nerdy boy, because he wanted to date Buffy but never did. Who knew that blondes with superpowers were so appealing?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Professor Warbucks

(Drawing by Fanboy Wife, based on a picture by Aaron Lopresti)

Professor Xavier is just like Daddy Warbucks. They’re both rich, bald, and raise orphans. The only difference is that Professor Xavier has superpowers and uses a wheelchair. Xavier is in charge of the X-Men, and he can read minds. He can probably travel through time or fly too.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Degrassi Junior High Drinking Game

My husband used to watch Degrassi Junior High on PBS when he was a kid. It’s a show about Canadian teenagers who attend a cursed junior high school. Every student that sets foot in that building faces unspeakable tragedies. Ash’s interest in this show was rekindled when he heard Kevin Smith mention it on the Clerks II commentary. This, of course, filled Ash with the need to buy the complete series.

I had never heard of Degrassi Junior High before Kevin Smith mentioned it, and I had never seen it before my husband brought home the series. (I blame Kevin Smith for rekindling my husband’s interest in this show.) Like other fanboys, Ash needs to wall all of the episodes back-to-back, as though it’s a test of endurance. As his wife, in a home with only one television, I get to watch all of the episodes back-to-back as well.

If your fanboy brings home this show and wants to watch as much as possible in one sitting, here is a drinking game to help dull the pain:

1. Every time someone says, “soarry” (this is Canadian for “sorry”), take a drink.
2. Every time you see a weird ‘80s hairstyle, try to arrange your hair in a similar fashion and take a drink.
3. If a teenager says, “pregnant” or you see a pregnant teen, be thankful you’re not pregnant while you drink.
4. When you see teenagers drinking, take two drinks.
5. Every time you hear a teenager say the word “sex,” try not to throw up while you take a drink.

By the time you’ve finished watching the first episode, you should be drunk enough to be able to endure the rest of the DVD. (Note: If you are under 21, you’re just going to have to suffer through it sober.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Lone Henchmen

The Lone Gunmen is a terrible spinoff show from The X-Files. My husband wanted it because he likes (i.e. is obsessed with) The X-Files. Fortunately, he agrees that this is a horrible show.

On The X-Files, the two main characters would occasionally consult a trio of nerds to help them solve cases. The trio was known as the Lone Gunmen. There’s a short guy who is obsessed with Agent Scully, like many other fanboys I know. There’s also a guy with long blonde hair and glasses. The last Gunman is a guy who wears suits.

On the TV show, they solve crimes or something. I repressed a lot of the show, and I’m not going to watch it again to give a more accurate description. I just remember it was very cheesy. The nice thing about The Lone Gunmen is that it was cancelled pretty quickly, so it’s not something a fanboy can keep wasting his money on, unless he doesn’t already own the 54 seasons of The X-Files already.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Revenge of the Nerds

Warning: The following entry is not appropriate for all ages. This is about an R-rated movie with adult themes and I use the word “asses.”

One would think that a movie about nerds would have a certain innocent, geeky charm to it, but that’s not the case. That’s not the case at all! This is a horrifying movie that I’m ashamed to have in my home.

The movie is about freshmen nerds at college who are warring with upperclassmen jocks. I would think that the audience should feel some sympathy towards the nerds, but they’re just as terrible as the jocks. Yes, the jocks kicked them out of the dorms and trashed their new house, but the nerds took their disgruntled feelings and attacked the jocks’ girlfriends. The jocks are bullies and drink a lot, but the nerds smoke marijuana in addition to underage drinking. The nerds also videotaped women changing so they could ogle them, which is illegal. One of the nerds also had sex with a woman without her consent, which is also illegal. They also sold naked pictures of woman who did give her permission. (At least the Girls Gone Wild asses get their drunken victims to sign release forms.) They did all of these activities with a minor present, which makes everything even worse.

Yes, I understand that it’s just a movie, but I still didn’t find it funny because those sorts of things happen at college all the time. When I was in college I knew several people that had to call the police because men were peeking into their windows. I’ve also known a few women in college that had men have sex with them without giving their consent. That is known as rape, and it is never, never funny.

Perhaps if I was a college-aged man who never knew anyone that was sexually abused or assaulted, I might have enjoyed Revenge of the Nerds.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Tick is Keen

It’s good to be able to share some of your spouse’s interests and hobbies. I try to do this; I really do. However, there’s no way I could keep up with the amount of comic book reading my husband does. I have a job and my own activities, and I don’t have any interest in reading most of his books.

The one superhero title I do enjoy reading is the Tick. Ash knew I used to watch the cartoon when I was a kid, and he bought me The Tick, the Complete Edlund, which I liked. It doesn’t make me want to dress up as Oedipus (one of the reoccurring female characters), but I enjoyed reading it. This proves that it is possible to enjoy reading a comic book, but not losing complete control.

Ash has also bought me two other Tick books, and there is one that I probably will not receive because it is out of print. That is okay. I don’t need everything ever written about the Tick. I can only hope that he can learn from my example of being content with an incomplete series.