Update: Since I first wrote this, there has been an another edition of the Vaginal Fantasy book club for February 2012, and the ladies have agreed that the book club hangout will happen on the last Monday of every month.
You can view the February Hangout here…Wherein they discuss “Silent in the Grave” by Deanna Raybourn (Well, I think they did…In between all the drinking, and talk of which hunky celebrities and fantasy characters they’d most like to have their way with… )
You read the title right…and no, I haven’t sold out and gone into the smut-peddling business (yet), nor have I turned to writing a sordid exposé about Felicia Day to earn coin.
No, my friends, this is a bit of a review of Felicia’s latest new media experiment, and, once again, she’s on to something great here …
The concept: use the fairly-new technology of Google+ video hangouts as a forum to assemble a group of notable women writers and new-media personalities for a monthly book club discussing ‘Vaginal Fantasy’ genre lit…For those not familiar, I think this also falls under the heading of ‘Bodice Ripper’ romance novels, the kind of stuff involving cover photos of shirtless, long haired, overly-adrenal males having their way with stacked beauties (I may have passed one in a book store, or grocery checkout, once.)
Multi-cam format allows a switch-feed to the main screen, while viewers get thumbnails of all participants below.
Felicia’s been a devourer of the genre as far back as I can remember, once tweeting about going on a ‘Highland Hunk’ buying spree (Bodice rippers involving dudes with six packs in kilts [usually ‘worn true’, I’d imagine, although trying hard not to…]) at the 3rd Street Promenade after quaffing an adult beverage with dinner (Felicia doesn’t drink much, and I’m told by sources, who shall go nameless, except his initials are ‘Sandeep Parikh‘, hilarity often ensues on such occasions…Sandeep is what you call an ‘enabler’.)
So the book club is another project where the subject matter is an affinity for Felicia, who mentioned, a couple of weeks back, that she decided to do the book club last-minute, as a fun project with some friends.
Well, this ‘fun project’ is not only that, but it’s an exciting format, with a lot of potential for growth, and an excellent use of an enabling technology, the G+ video hangout. The hangouts put the kind of live, multi-camera, switch feed capabilities into the hands of content creators that big-media broadcasters have had for years, and that new media creators, like Leo Laporte, have spent small fortunes to implement on their own.
Yeah, there have been options for this from U-stream, and Blip-TV, for a while, but this seems easier, and with the overall integration between Google+ and YouTube, this is going to be a killer app … But before I geek out too much on the convergence-media aspects of the tech, let’s talk about the show, because that is why we watch.
Joining Felicia are Veronica Belmont, from Tekzilla and TWiT TV, and the Sword and Laser podcast, Bonnie Burton, Sr. Editor for StarWars.com (and a colleague of mine in a galaxy far, far away), and Kiala Kazeebee, blogger, writer for The Nerdist and Nerdpuddle, and prolific Twitterer about pie and alcohol (usually both, and at the same time.)
It’s these ladies that make the show something other than a garden-variety video podcast, and turn it into a truly compelling, and fun to watch show, in that their personalities are diverse, complementary, and taken together have an amazing interactive chemistry.
'VaginalFantasy' was a trending topic, World-wide, on Twitter during the premiere broadcast. (photo by Kiala Kazebee)
Slight disclaimer…I’ve known this crew for years, except for Veronica, whom I’ve not met, and not a small part of the reason I tuned in was to see my friends doing their thing, as well as see what Bonnie and Kiala would bring in a video format, as they’ve both been known primarilly as writers to date (although Bonnie has a collection of old ‘Ask Bonnie‘ videos from her days at the now defunct webwaste.com, that are pretty damn funny, and worth the watch.)
Everyone brings something slighting different to the round-table…Felicia and Veronica are pretty much known quantities in terms of their presentation style, but having the freedom to cut loose, and the license for off-color humor offered by the subject matter (I mean…When your show name starts with ‘Vaginal Fantasy’ what ISN’T on the table?), both present new sides of themselves.
Kiala is a natural as far as the broadcasting side of things goes…She was coordinating all of the questions and monitoring comments from G+ and Twitter, while keeping the momentum going with the conversation and color commentary … She’s a lot like a Robin Quivers-type (Robin Quimvers?) to Felicia’s host role (No, I’m not going to compare Felicia Day to Howard Stern, first off she’s nothing like Stern, and secondly, she’d likely kick my butt… ;))
Bonnie brings a really great oddball dynamic to the group…She’s kind of like that crazy Aunt many of us have … You know, the one that’s a lot younger than your Mom, so she’s one of us, but is kind of whacky, yet world-wise, and is usually the family member that gets a little drunk (okay, a lot drunk) at family gatherings and tells the inappropriate jokes that make Mom turn photographically-unreproducible colors, while laying the rest of the crowd out laughing.
Plus, she was badly lit, un-prepared because she hadn’t read the book, and started going off-topic and doing bits with a taxidermied chipmunk (Bonnie is big into Anthropomorphic Taxidermy, IRL…) that was totally off the hook.
It was frikkin’ brilliant, and I hope they will add Bonnie’s being somewhat out-of-step as a running gag with the show, which would just add more comedy value.
Now, as I guy, you’d probably expect me to write something like, “Yeah, I watched it to see my friends, and to see how they used the new tech, but although the ‘Vaginal Fantasy Hangout’ is sure to be a hit with, and a great show for, women, it’s not something that a guy would watch.”
Yeah, I could write that, but it would pretty much be a load…
Hey! Dudes! I’m talking you with the Penises…This is a show with a bunch of hot chicks talking dirty about smutty topics…You are going to LOVE this show. Tell the wife you’re watching it to get in touch with women’s sensibilities, so you can understand her better, and watch for the quim jokes.
In the words of Alexander Lavelle “Xander” Harris, “Yes, men like sports. Men watch the action movie. They eat of the beef and enjoy to look at the bosoms”…Men will also like watching women talking funny about sexy books. Dudes will love this show.
Kiala drew this logo for the Book Club...Sorry, too WWF, not enough Labia Majora (photo by Kiala Kazebee)
It IS also a great show for women…There is something outstanding about the idea of a book-club show that focuses on a feminine-interest genre that is the opposite of high-brow, offers lots of opportunities for jokes and diversions, and has a wonderfully compelling cast of smart ladies who are both knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter.
The common thread that seems to run through whatever Felicia Day does, and I’ve often heard her say this in interviews, is to follow your passions…Once again, she’s done that with the book club, and that has lead her to something awesome and will, I believe, be another out-of-the-park hit with the fans.
As of yesterday, scheduling for The Vaginal Fantasy Book Club (and they’ve got their own tumblr blog set up already, and I’m almost mortified, yet intrigued, about what the visual design may look like if Kiala has anything to say about it based on her logo sketch …) was still a bit up-in-the-air, so follow Felicia, Veronica, Bonnie, and Kiala, on Twitter, to keep up with the latest.
Felicia will also be launching her new YouTube Premium Channel, Geek & Sundry, in March, so check them out on the Web and YouTube and expect more great content from the creator of ‘The Guild.’