The Mandalorian Season 2 Chapter 12

The Siege

A speeder bike and TIE Fighter chase, old friends, and some major story developments highlight Chapter 12 of The Mandalorian. In the episode, which picks up immediately after Chapter 11, our hero takes a detour to Nevarro to have his ship repaired in order to deliver the child to Corvus and a Jedi mentioned in the previous episode. On Nevarro, he joins up with a pair of good friends (and one old bounty) in order to take out an old Imperial stronghold that is still active. As expected the Imperial base is much more than it appears and there are plenty of baddies waiting to take out the Mando and his friends.

The episode is full of things that reminded me of classic Star Wars, specifically A New Hope. From a breathtaking chase to bumbling stormtroopers and the deactivation of a massive unit (I’ll go into more detail in the spoiler section), this episode called back to all sorts of sequences from the first Star Wars film.

It also pushed the story along in spades. There are massive developments, hints, and winks at bigger things to come, including events that happen in the latest film trilogy.

Spoilers ahead!!!

The episode sees the return of Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers, who also directs). The duo ask the Mando to help them eliminate the Imperial base, the last stronghold of evil on Nevarro. Along for the ride is Mythrol (Horatio Sanz), one of the Mando’s bounties from the first episode, who is working off his debt to Greef. We also get to see Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) in a holo-recording that reveals to the group that Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) is alive and well and moving along with evil plans for the New Republic.

The episode has an amazing chase sequence featuring Dune, Karga, and Mythrol battling with Biker Scouts and TIE Fighters in a hardened magma canyon that eventually opens up into some flats where the Razor Crest joins the battle. It also features a giant cooling system deactivation that hearkens back to a similar sequence featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi deactivating the Death Star’s tractor beam. No rails, a deep pit to fall into, and eventually stormtroopers showing up across the way flooded me with memories of A New Hope.

The core plot of the series is moved along in leaps and bounds in this episode. It reveals a cloning lab and a massive force being built up by Moff Gideon. In all honesty I expected to see Kylo Ren appear in this episode. There are massive hints to the latest film trilogy as far as the look and feel of the Imperial sequences after the battle on Nevarro. I would love to see Kylo make an appearance and possibly see a few of the Knights of Ren as well.

The episode ends with the return of yet another character from a prior episode. Paul Sun-Hyung Lee returns as Carson Teva, the New Republic X-Wing pilot introduced earlier this season. He has an emotional moment with Cara Dune that hints at her future involvement in the New Republic.

Loaded with character and story development, nods to the classic and new trilogies, and an amazing battle sequence makes this episode my favorite of the new season so far. I have a feeling that The Mandalorian is about to explode in all of the right ways, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Thanks for checking out my post. If this episode is any indication, things are about to get insane!

Spider-Man Maximum Venom Domez!

Let’s Get Venomized!

The third season of Disney/Marvel’s popular Disney XD series Spider-Man was dubbed Maximum Venom and focuses on the Klyntar invasion of Earth and how they overtake a number of Earth’s heroes in the process. It makes perfect sense that Zag would release a line of Domez collectibles featuring at least some of the characters. I recently received a set to review from a third party and have to admit that they are pretty cool.

The set that I received includes a Venomized Spider-Man, Hulk, Groot, and Iron Man. All four figures look awesome, especially Spidey. Sealed in their own display case, this fearsome foursome can be linked together at the sides or locked and stacked on top of one another.

The set comes in an exceptionally nice box with a Velcro closure on the front. It’s suitable to display as well thanks to the beautiful artwork on the box. Unfortunately the box that I received was damaged in the mail, so I most likely will not be displaying the box. Still, it’s a beautiful piece of work and I highly recommend keeping the box for yourself if possible.

Since the figures are encased in plastic, there’s not much of a play factor involved with this set. That being said, all four of these guys look great sitting on my desk at work and that’s most likely where they’ll stay.

With great molds and beautiful paint schemes, these miniatures are definitely worth collecting if you’re a fan of Spider-Man or the series that these are based upon.

Thanks for checking out this post. I’ll see you all again real soon!

Vampires Vs. The Bronx (2020)


Using vampires as a metaphor for gentrification is a great idea. When injected into the right kind of film, be it a straight horror film or a blended horror/comedy, it has the potential to not only educate but entertain. In Netflix’s Vampires Vs. The Bronx, the idea is definitely present, but the film struggles to decide whether it is a horror, a comedy, or both. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed watching this film, it just never fully committed to any genre or ideals.

In the film, a young boy named Miguel is organizing a block party to save his friend’s bodega. Hoping to stop the gentrification of his neighborhood by preserving the bodega, Miguel is joined on his campaign by his friends Bobby and Luis. At the same time, a real estate company is gobbling up all of the businesses and other properties in the area in order to bring in upscale shops and a higher income bracket of residents.

In actuality, the real estate company is just a front for a group of vampires intent on buying out the Bronx and establishing their own base of operations. Miguel and his friends, along with a mixed bag of allies, join forces to battle the vampires and save the Bronx. Can they do it? Give this film a shot in order to find out.

The film is enjoyable enough to watch, but I got the feeling that it was trying too hard to stay in the middle of everything and never attempting to rise above being average. The humor is very light, too light to dub this film a comedy in my opinion. The horror isn’t very scary, either. The message on gentrification was there, but even its delivery seems watered down. Had the film fully embraced the horror angle, this could have been a great film with a profound message. The same could be said for it if it had committed to being a full-blown comedy. Instead, we get a light comedy/lighter horror flick that doesn’t fully quench the thirst of its viewers.

The film does have a lot going for it. Its young cast anchors the film and makes an otherwise average flick watchable. Jaden Michael stars as Miguel and Gerald W. Jones III and Gregory Diaz IV costar as Bobby and Luis, respectively. Coco Jones portrays Rita, a young lady that Miguel has a crush on, and does a wonderful job whenever she’s on the screen, but isn’t on the screen enough to save the film. Another young cast member, Imani Lewis, injects humor from time to time as the neighborhood’s local live feed queen, Gloria.

The adult cast is solid as well, especially Joel Martinez as Tony, the owner of the bodega and a father figure to all three of the young boys. In a surprisingly funny turn as a priest, Method Man steals the show with his brief screen time. Sarah Gadon is wonderful as Vivian when she’s in vampire mode, but her innocent “basic” white girl persona is boring and highly predictable. The rest of the vampires are good enough and their look is awesome, but they aren’t around long enough to impact the movie.

I also appreciate the nods to classic vampire films. Many of the film’s scenes reminded me of The Lost Boys and I am especially fond of the real estate company’s name. Others have compared the film to The Monster Squad as well, but I don’t see the connection myself.

Again, this film is good and I do recommend watching it, I just wish that it would have taken a bigger bite out of the comedy or the horror. It’s sort of just there and leaves the viewer wanting. It’s a missed opportunity in my book.

Thanks for reading my post. Let me know what you thought of this film in the comments section!

Focus On: Yakima Canutt

A real cowboy stunts his way to success.

Stuntmen and women rarely get recognized for their amazing work in film and on television. Most of them live their lives out in complete anonymity and pass away with no awards or trophies. They make actors that are paid more than them look much better than they ever could on their own. They risk their lives day in and day out for a paycheck and nothing more. A few of them go on to become directors, writers, and stunt coordinators.

Yakima Canutt.

One of the most successful and daring stuntmen to ever grace the screen was Yakima Canutt. Born in Colfax, Washington on November 29, 1895, to John Lemuel Canutt and Nettie Ellen Stevens, Enos Edward “Yakima” Canutt would have a long and storied career in rodeo and both in front of and behind the camera in film.

Canutt won multiple rodeo championships and event titles in the 1910’s-1930’s. In the early 1920’s, Canutt began acting primarily in small roles thanks to his friendships with popular western stars of the day including Tom Mix and John Wayne. Canutt and Wayne were especially fond of one another, and as a result, worked together in multiple films.

Canutt (L) with John Wayne.

Canutt became well known for being a brilliant stuntman and ended up working on tons of westerns and other films. Not only would Canutt do most of the stunts in the film, he was willing to train the actors to do some of the stunts themselves. He also gained a reputation for being an extremely safe worker which would lead to more opportunities in his later life.

Canutt was also known for developing new stunts and/or suggesting changes to stunts to make them look more realistic and exciting. He worked on fight sequences, riding sequences, and tons of other stunt techniques and tactics to not only make the actors look good, but the film as a whole.

If you’ve watched any of Republic Pictures’ classic serials, you’ve most likely seen some of Canutt’s work. He also held a contract with Mascot Pictures. Some of the more famous serials that he worked on include Spy Smasher (1942), Zorro Rides Again (1937), and Dick Tracy Returns (1938).

Canutt’s greatest stunt as chosen by film historians and stuntmen alike is his classic “drop” scene in 1939’s Stagecoach. For the stunt, Canutt was dragged under a team of galloping horses and moved from the front of the team to the back and then climbed back onto the stagecoach. The stunt has been used many times since and is considered to be one of the most famous stunts of all time.

As Canutt aged, he realized that he would need to change occupations in order to continue making a living. He soon began working as a director, specifically as a second unit and action director. He would go on to become just as successful as a second unit director if not more successful than his work as a stuntman. Some of the films that he worked on included A Man Called Horse (1970), The Swiss Family Robinson (1960), and Ben-Hur (1959). Canutt was responsible for the legendary chariot race in Ben-Hur along with Andrew Marton. The planning stages for the sequence lasted about one year and the actual filming took place over five weeks at a cost of one million dollars.

Yakima passed away in 1986 at the age of ninety years. Despite influencing countless stunt workers and featuring in or directing portions of tons of famous films, his greatest accolades came in the form of induction into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum Rodeo Hall of Fame, an honorary Academy Award, a Golden Boot, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much progress in the recognition of stunt workers to this day.

Thanks for reading this Focus On feature about Yakima Canutt. He’s just one of many men and women that have sacrificed their bodies to get the perfect shot for films.

The Mandalorian: Season 2 Chapter 11

The Heiress

With his ship on its last leg and a frog lady and her eggs onboard, the Mandalorian limps into Trask in the third episode of Season Two of The Mandalorian. After safely reuniting the frog lady with her husband, the Mando continues his mission to find others like himself. After a cruise gone wrong, our hero finds himself face to face with three Mandalorians with a different interpretation of “the way” and a leader on a mission of her own.

Spoilers ahead…’s inevitable with this episode.

I actually had this episode spoiled for me on the day that it was released. A photo depicting the three Mandalorians that our hero encounters, all of whom have removed their helmets, revealed that Bo-Katan was getting the live action treatment and she would be portrayed by Katee Sackhoff, the actress that gave the character a voice on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It also revealed that Mercedes Varnado would be playing a new Mando character, Koska Reeves, and Simon Kassianides would also don Mando armor as another new character, Axe Woves. WWE fans will most likely recognize Varnado as her alter ego, Sasha Banks.

Varnado and Kassianides do excellent jobs as Bo-Katan’s backups. I was very surprised by Varnado, who proved that she’s a better actor outside of the ring. Perhaps that is because of the direction of Bryce Dallas Howard, who continues to impress me with her work on The Mandalorian. Howard does an excellent job of keeping the story serious and fast-paced but also manages to throw in a little light humor as well. The child also takes a backseat in this episode and, in all honesty, that’s a bit refreshing in my book.

If there’s anything about this episode that falls short, it’s Sackhoff’s acting. Yes, much like every other Clone Wars fan, I was happy to see Bo-Katan on the screen. I even appreciated the fact that they used her voice actress in the role. That being said, Sackhoff has always had a very stiff delivery style that just doesn’t sit right with me. I know that she has tons of fans and I’m probably in the minority here, but she just seems to force every line and action. I’ve had this opinion of her all the way back to her Battlestar Galactica days.

My favorite part of this episode, aside from Howard’s directing, was the brilliant set designs. From the boat that the Mandalorian rides on to the port on Trask, this episode popped with amazing visuals. Maybe it’s because so much of this series has taken place on desert planets and I was just happy to see any color but brown for a bit, but I loved the look of Trask, all of its wonderful inhabitants, and the atmosphere of the episode as a whole.

Was this the best episode of the season? Nah. I prefer the first episode, but this one is a close second. It definitely opened up a few doors for later episodes and developed our hero more than any other episode this season. It dropped the name of a major character that fanboys and fangirls have been longing to see in live action as well. Here’s hoping that it gets even better as the season continues.

Thanks for checking out my post. Let me know how you feel about this episode in the comments section. See you again soon!

Focus On: Bryce Dallas Howard

Not just daddy’s little girl…..

Despite a film career that didn’t really get its start until 2004, Bryce Dallas Howard has proven that she can handle just about any role you throw at her be it in front of or behind the camera. Her career started in 1989 as an extra in Parenthood, a film that was directed by her father, Ron Howard, who’s sort of a big deal when it comes to directors. I won’t waste any time talking about his successes (this post is about Mrs. Howard, after all), but just know that you’ve probably seen more than one of his movies in your lifetime.

She continued to appear in smaller roles until she began her stage career and it was while performing onstage that she drew the attention of M. Night Shyamalan, who cast her in his 2004 film, The Village. From there, Howard would go on to star in films that ranged from major blockbusters and tentpole franchises to Academy Award nominated films and indy flicks.

Howard seems to be quite comfortable starring in films that challenge her as an actor. She’s one of the few actors in Hollywood that, at least in my opinion, doesn’t have a “type” of character that she always portrays. She can play the villain, the heroine, the diva, the innocent, or the seductress and do it with style. I love it when actors actually act instead of playing themselves in a certain situation and Howard does this in all of her roles. She becomes the character instead of portraying herself as the character. She’s a freaking amazing actress!

Here are just a few of the films that she’s starred in over her short career and the role that she played in each of them (in no particular order):

  • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) – Victoria
  • Jurassic World (2015) – Claire Dearing
  • The Help (2011) – Hilly Holbrook
  • Spider-Man 3 (2007) – Gwen Stacy
  • Rocketman (2019) – Sheila Eileen
  • Lady In The Water (2006) – Story

Howard has also found success on the small screen having appeared in Black Mirror, Family Guy, and Arrested Development.

That’s only one aspect of Howard’s career, though, as she has followed in her father’s footsteps and taken control of the action behind the camera as a successful director. Howard has directed a number of shorts and the documentary, Dads (2019). In possibly her biggest directing gig, she has directed two episodes of Disney+’s The Mandalorian. Those two episodes, Sanctuary and The Heiress are, at least in my opinion, two of the best episodes of the series. I see more success as a director in her future.

On top of all of that, Howard just comes across in interviews as a person that you would want to be friends with in real life. She appears to be an extremely caring and gracious person who not only appreciates the opportunities that she’s been given over her career, but takes each of those opportunities seriously. Plus, and this is just a personal thing, I believe that she is absolutely gorgeous. From her red hair to that amazing smile, I’m absolutely smitten with her. It would be really cool to meet her someday.

So there you have it, a quick look at the rising star that is Bryce Dallas Howard. She’s a brilliant actress, an awesome director, and somebody that I have had a major crush on for quite a few years. I hope that you enjoyed this glimpse at this amazing woman, and I thank you for reading my post.

Spin Master 4″ DC Villains!

The villains have arrived!

Not too long ago, I made a post about some newly acquired Spin Master 4″ DC figures from the Caped Crusaders and Heroes Unite lines. If you’d like a more in-depth look at the articulation, accessories, and pros and cons for the line, check out that post. This post is strictly for the bad guys. Yes, I also acquired some of the DC villains from the Caped Crusader line and decided to show them a little love.

L to R: Killer Moth, the Joker, and Talon.

I love the selection of villains in this line. It includes tried and true favorites like the Joker and Talon, but it also includes villains that don’t necessarily register with fans (especially those that don’t read comics) like Firefly and Killer Moth.


Much like their heroic counterparts, the villains come with a collector card, eleven points of articulation, and three mystery accessories. I will say that as lame as many of the accessories are, the villains definitely have better ones than the good guys. I’m especially fond of Killer Moth‘s cocoon gun. I also love how brightly colored Killer Moth is as well. He’s probably my favorite figure in the series as far as villains go, and that’s odd for Killer Moth to be loved for anything since he’s often the butt of a lot of jokes and/or just terrible at being a villain.

Killer Moth.

If any other villain could beat out Killer Moth as my favorite figure in the villain line, it would be Talon. He comes with an owl and is one of the more highly detailed figures in the line overall. He’s also still a fairly new villain, and I’m glad to see him getting some love from toymakers.


The Joker figure that I received is one of two variants in the line. My Joker has a black suit. The other figure has the more traditional purple suit. Joker comes with gag weapons (as he should), and has a very nice sculpt.

The Joker.

Other villains in the line that I received include Bronze Tiger and Man-Bat. Man-Bat‘s articulation is somewhat limited due to his wings (which are removable), but the figure itself looks pretty good. Bronze Tiger‘s tail is a tad bit awkward, but his overall size and detail makes up for this small fallacy.

Bronze Tiger.

Bronze Tiger also features a pretty cool shield accessory. Man-Bat‘s accessories are probably my least favorite of all of the villains, but he doesn’t necessarily need weapons to punish the good guys.


Let me know if you have any of these figures or any of the villains that I don’t have like King Shark and Black Manta and tell me what you think about them. I’d love to get your opinion on this line of heroes and villains. I have a few more heroes to review and I hope to add a few more of these figures to my collection soon.


Thanks for reading my post. Be on the lookout for another review of other Spin Master figures in this line soon!

The Mandalorian Season 2

Episode 2: The Passenger

A few mild spoilers for this episode are ahead! Proceed with caution!

Picking up directly after the first episode of the second season, The Passenger finds our beloved Mandalorian on his way back to his ship, only to be attacked by marauders and having his speeder bike destroyed in the fight. Once he returns to his ally, Peli Motto, he is asked to transport a passenger to Trask in return for information on more Mandalorians. The rest of the episode sees the Mandalorian, his frog lady passenger and her eggs, and the child face off against X-Wings and ice spiders.

Although most of the episode takes place on an ice planet and focuses on the Mandalorian, the child, and the frog lady, there are quite a few other characters and creatures crammed into the episode as well. We see Dr. Mandible, Q9-0, two X-Wing pilots, three marauders, and tons of ice spiders.

Fans of other Star Wars productions might recognize a few things in this episode. The aforementioned ice spiders are a callback to Star Wars Rebels. I’m not sure if they are the same species as the Krykna in Rebels, but they are very similar. Also, the way that the eggs of the spiders hatched look a lot like and hatch like the eggs in the Alien franchise. We also get to see a number of droids from other productions and even from prior episodes in The Mandalorian.

We also get the return of Trapper Wolf, a New Republic pilot who appeared in an episode from the first season of The Mandalorian. Hardcore Star Wars fans definitely recognize him as being portrayed by Dave Filoni, who is essentially the rightful heir to the George Lucas empire. Fans of Kim’s Convenience, a Canadian sitcom that is also available on Netflix at the moment, will also recognize Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Carson Teva, the second X-Wing pilot in this episode. Being a massive fan of Kim’s Convenience and especially Mr. Kim (Lee), I was extremely happy to see him in the episode. On top of that, Lee happens to be a huge fan of Star Wars and is a member of the 501st Star Wars costumers group.

The episode is loaded with action and has more of a horror-styled theme to it, but overall it isn’t as good as the first episode of the season. If you love action and horror, you’ll probably be just fine with the episode. However, if you’re seeking more character development, you won’t find much of that here.

Still, the episode is enjoyable and the many callbacks (I didn’t mention all of them) and Easter eggs are fun to catch while watching. The child’s cute factor plays heavily into parts of the episode as well, and I’m sure that fans of that character will melt and/or cringe during certain moments featuring the kid.

I liked the episode well enough and loved seeing X-Wings, Mr. Kim, and an exciting spacecraft chase sequence in the episode. Thanks for checking out my post. I’ll have another one next week!

Mr. Kim wants you to watch The Mandalorian!!!!

Throwback Thursday: Hogan’s Heroes (1965-1971)

In Beautiful Stalag 13

A POW camp in Nazi Germany during World War II hardly seems like the place to set a sitcom, but Hogan’s Heroes did just that…..and it worked. Starring Bob Crane as Colonel Robert Hogan, the series focuses on the actions of a group of POW’s led by Hogan that use their imprisonment as a means to spy on Nazi forces, assist prisoners from other camps in escaping to freedom, and to thwart the plans of the Nazis in general. They do this using a series of underground tunnels, a network of allies (including some Germans) scattered throughout the local area, and the skills of a core group of prisoners.

The core cast for all but the final season of Hogan’s Heroes (L to R): Werner Klemperer, John Banner, Cynthia Lynn (1965-66), Bob Crane, Larry Hovis, Robert Clary, Ivan Dixon (replaced by Kenneth Washington in the final season), and Richard Dawson.

Crane’s Hogan is an extremely likeable and persuasive man. He often convinces Colonel Klink (Werner Klemperer) to believe some of the most absurd ideas. He also tells Klink, Sergeant Schultz (John Banner), and other Nazis exactly what his plans are to help others escape and then smirks as his words are blown off as jokes.

Klink and Schultz are portrayed as buffoons (as are most of the Nazis in the series), but despite being part of Hitler’s regime, they manage to win over the audience. Schultz in particular became quite popular and his famous lines, “I see nothing. I know nothing.” have become embedded in pop culture.

While Hogan is the leader, each member of his team has specific jobs and specialties that keep the group active and successful in Stalag 13. Newkirk (Richard Dawson) takes care of disguises, tailoring, and imitates a number of different people on the phone and radio. LeBeau (Robert Clary) is a chef and uses his cooking skills to bribe Schultz for information. He also appears in disguise and is extremely good at hiding in small spaces to listen in on Nazi talks. He has also trained the camp’s German Shepherds to be friendly with the prisoners.

Carter (Larry Hovis) is the group’s explosives expert and occasionally dons a disguise as well. He does a wonderful job as Hitler, and fools a number of high ranking Nazis portraying him. The team’s communications expert for the first five seasons was Kinchloe (Ivan Dixon). He was the point of contact for Hogan to the outside world, in particular an Allied Forces submarine hiding off of the German coast. Dixon was Hogan’s second in command and much like Star Trek (1966) with Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), was one of the earliest shows to ever have an African American in a prominent role. Dixon left the series after the fifth season and was replaced by Kenneth Washington as Sgt. Baker in the final season.

A photo from the final season featuring Kenneth Washington, second from left, as Sgt. Baker, who replaced Ivan Dixon’s SSG Kinchloe.

Recurring characters in the series included General Burkhalter (Leon Askin), Fraulein Helga (Cynthia Lynn), Fraulein Hilda (Sigrid Valdis), and Major Hochstetter (Howard Caine). Notable guest stars included Gavin MacLeod, James Sikking, Victor French, and William Christopher.

Leon Askin (L) and Werner Klemperer.

I only recently rediscovered this series. I remember watching the series as a child and recognizing Richard Dawson from Family Feud. Schultz was my favorite character and pretty much still is to this day. I started watching it again on MeTV ever since Hurricane Laura forced my family to move into a temporary home. Hogan’s Heroes has become one of the familiar memories of my past that I’ve become attached to since the hurricane.

Howard Caine (L) and Klemperer.

One thing that I recently found out about the series is that all of the major cast members that portrayed Nazis and many of the recurring Nazi characters all have some sort of connection with the war. Klemperer, Caine, Banner, and Askin were all Jewish and portrayed Nazi characters. Klemperer, Askin, Banner, and Robert Clary (LeBeau) all fled the Nazis during the war. Clary and Banner were both held in concentration camps with many of their family members being murdered as a result. Banner went on to join the U.S. Army as did the three other primary Nazi characters.

I love this series. It’s become a tradition for me to watch it every night since the hurricane and I do so with my son and daughter. My son, who loves history, listens to everything said by the characters and then looks up the things that interest him to see if they are real or fabricated for the series. My daughter is drawn to LeBeau and all four of the primary German characters due to the fact that they were directly touched by the evil of the Nazi forces.

I hope that you enjoyed this trip down memory lane and thank you for reading my post. See you again soon!

Outpost: Texas Renaissance Festival 2020

Heroes and Villains Weekend

If memory serves me correctly, this is my twelfth visit to the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission, TX (just northwest of Houston). I love this festival. Not only do you get to step back in time, but the music, the shows, the food, and the fun are wonderful. Having been to this festival a number of times now, I’ve seen a few of my favorite acts come and go. Thankfully, a couple of my favorites are mainstays and new acts are added all of the time to keep me coming back for more.

This year’s festival was a bit different than prior years thanks to COVID-19. Regulations and requests were put in place in order to provide a safe environment for performers, employees, and visitors. The biggest change this year was that tickets had to be purchased ahead of time on the web for specific dates. A limited amount of at-the-gate tickets were available, but only for military, seniors, and students.

Clan Tynker, one of the mainstays of TRF that also happen to be my favorite performers.

As I have done every single time that I’ve attended TRF, I checked out the Clan Tynker show first. As always, they brought smiles to the crowd with their mixture of magic, music, and mind-blowing stunts. I love this group and I look forward to watching them every year. I normally grab a photo with at least one of the group each year, but I had to skip this year due to the restrictions at the festival. I guess I’ll have to grab two photos with group members next year.

The gypsy dancers are beautiful and their band is nothing short of wonderful.

I attended a number of other favorite shows including Gypsy Dance Theatre and Cirque Olympus. I know that the lovely dancers get all of the attention when it comes to Gypsy Dance Theatre, but folks need to show a little appreciation to the band as well. They are simply amazing.

Apollo gets “loopy” as Athena encourages him during his performance.

Three of the hardest working performers at the festival, at least in my opinion, are Apollo, Aphrodite, and Athena, collectively known as Cirque Olympus. Their dazzling display of rope work, balancing, hula hoop spinning, archery, and more is simply fun to watch. On top of that, they are hilarious as well. Athena brings high energy and neck-breaking stunts while Apollo juggles and balances his way into our hearts. Aphrodite flirts with the audience, does amazing ribbon work, and shows off her archery skills as well. If you’ve never been to TRF, add Cirque Olympus to the top of your list of shows to see when you visit!

Aphrodite spins gracefully (but with plenty of power).

A cool addition to the festival this year was the Pirate Museum. Featuring actual artifacts from sunken ships, this museum was a welcome surprise. Not only was it educational, it was awesome to see a number of items such as blunderbusses, dubloons, and cannons.

Yours truly, yo-ho-hoing!

This was the first year that I tried a gyro, a Greek dish that’s not to be missed! I tried one from the Greek Agora where the Gypsy Dance Theatre and Cirque Olympus shows take place. It was delicious!

My “gyro!”

There were also a ton of wonderful shops and plenty of other performers to check out. I visited the Museum of Cruelty again and also took two strolls through the Magic Garden.

Museum of Cruelty.

If you happen to be visiting the Houston or Conroe area in October or November next year, be sure to check out the Texas Renaissance Festival. It has become an annual treat for myself and my family. There are still three weekends left this season, but be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time. Also, if you can’t make it this year, keep an eye on the festival’s social media outlets for the date of the Sale of the Century, a sale in which they slash ticket prices for one day only. I highly recommend taking advantage of the deep discount offered!

TRF valiantly fought the plague this year!

Thanks for reading my post. If you’ve ever been to TRF, let me know what you thought about it in the comments section. Also, feel free to tell me about your favorite shows, performers, and food as well!

Just one of the many displays in the pirate museum.