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Photo Credit: Charlotte Carpenter | Daily Texan Staff

Despite poor weather conditions and low turnout, the sky was still dotted with kites at the 86th annual ABC Zilker Kite Festival on Sunday.  

The attendees who braved the cold and humidity flew their kites in the weather, which hovered in the high 30’s and low 40’s. But finance senior James Gu said he was less able to fully participate in the festival activities than he had hoped.

“Since we felt like we had to put our hands in our pockets about every five minutes just to stay warm, we didn’t fly our kites around the park as much,” Gu said.

The cold and rainy weather conditions affected the number of people who went to Zilker Park to attend the festival and reduced the amount of projected customers for vendors stationed around the park, according to Isaac Guzman, an employee of the Mighty Bird food truck.

“I expected more people, but because of the weather and the fact that it’s been raining the past few days, the turnout isn’t as good,” Guzman said.

Business sophomore Jai Ugra attended the festival to sell water bottles to fundraise for a benefit concert. Ugra said he would have been more successful in his attempts to raise money if the weather had been better. 

“I think the weather was a huge factor that affected our water sales,” Ugra said. “If it was 65 [or more degrees], then I’m positive we could have run out of water bottles, but it was barely breaking 40 degrees, which really hurt us.”

A few vendors were less adversely affected by the cold conditions, because attendees attempted to stay warm.

Maggie Porcher, co-owner of Wanderlust Coffee, said the colder weather attracted more people to her tent than to other tents.  

“If there were 20,000 people out here, obviously that would probably help us, but the cold weather hasn’t hurt us as much as others,” Porcher said.

The ABC Zilker Kite Festival is held annually on the first Sunday of March. Last year, the festival was moved from March 2 to the “rain date” of March 9, but the festival still ended up being canceled due to inclement weather.

Although last year’s festival was canceled as a result of the weather conditions, Ugra said this year’s festival should also have been postponed.

“I respect the tradition of keeping it on the first weekend of March, but I would have changed the date for a larger turnout,” said Ugra.

ABC’s hit show “Once Upon a Time” has made a name for itself as a narrative that twists and turns what we know about Disney fairy tales into one consistent overarching mythology. In the case of Peter Pan, creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are taking a very brave step. We all know Pan, that verdant forever young adventurer who flies through the clouds with the powers of faith, hope, trust and a bit of pixie dust. This season, the creators ask if we really know him.

Season two brought new characters into the fold, and chief among them was Neverland’s number one dastardly cad, Captain Hook. This Hook is no stereotypical handlebar mustachioed codfish with the red overcoat and feathered hat. “Once Upon a Time’s” Hook is a stud. With his movie star good looks, irresistible charm and guyliner rivaling that of Captain Jack Sparrow, Hook is the complete antithesis of what the audience has been brought up to expect. 

The legendary pirate is introduced as a lost soul consumed by revenge against Rumplestiltskin, the metaphorical crocodile who robbed Hook of his one true love and his hand. But Hook soon learns revenge is not as cathartic as he expected, giving him a sympathetic edge uncharacteristic of such a legendary villain. Hook is brought to life by Irish actor Colin O’Donoghue with a performance that exudes cool confidence and cocky bravado, breathing new life into what could have been just another Disney pirate. But wait, why in the name of William Smee are viewers pulling for the bad guy? Where is Pan in all of this?

Because the ownership of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale is legally complicated, operating on a thin line between public domain and actual ownership in several countries, Kitsis and Horowitz were forced to delay the introduction of these characters until later in the series. Pan’s delayed appearance until season three actually created a serendipitous turn of events that led to the production of one of the most fascinating story arcs of the television season. 

Pan is not the hero. In truth, he’s terrifying. With one fell swoop, Kitsis and Horowitz transformed the heroic Pan into the most diabolical foe our heroes have ever faced. In just three episodes, he has already proven to be a deft adversary, successfully kidnapping fairy tale master race candidate Henry Mills and psychologically breaking down “Once’s” normally stalwart main protagonist, Emma Swan. 

English actor Robbie Kay has effectively conquered the difficult task of infusing this classic character with an unexpected sense of malice and intrigue in the short span of three episodes. The prospect of seeing his already robust performance unfold over the coming weeks is exciting. 

Pan is a nice fit in the shoes of a villain. Although his portrayal is vastly more sinister than his animated Disney counterpart, he still has the mischievous spirit that makes the character so endearing. “Once Upon a Time” continues to flourish in a modern storytelling age where the line between heroes and villains is so very thin, forever changing the perspective on two of fantasy’s most iconic characters.

“Once Upon a Time” airs Sunday at 7 p.m. on ABC. 

Can 'Grimm' please have a spinoff?

Look out, world, more Grimms are coming and they’re going to kick some supernatural butt — or at least that is what I hope happens someday.

Two supernatural spinoffs are set to premiere this fall: “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland,” from "Once Upon A Time," on ABC and “The Originals,” from "The Vampire Diaries," on the CW. If NBC can greenlight a spinoff of “Grimm,” that would be nice, too.

NBC’s fantasy/horror drama “Grimm” has qualities that give it potential to move the fans to a new, but yet familiar, territory with many possible storylines to explore in a spinoff series.

The show centers on the rich and abundant existence of wesen, a generic term used to describe the race of supernatural creatures, which allows for the writers to explore backstories with the protagonist Nick Burkhardt’s ancestors (the Brothers Grimm included). His ancestors documented every type of wesen they came across around the world in many books and stored away special weapons they used against wesen over time. Nick’s late Aunt Marie kept all of this in her trailer which Nick visits every time he comes across a wesen during his job as a cop.

Depending on how the writers want to develop storylines, the spinoff could focus on a single member or multiple members of the Grimm ancestors.  The time periods could possible differ, transitioning over generations of Grimms. The possibilities for storylines are endless.

Additionally, the current “Grimm” crew would not have to spend too much money to create masks and accessories and CGI works because these wesen, for the most part, have been revealed on the show. The crew currently uses a combination of masks and makeup and CGI technology to portray when their wesen characters transform into their wesen faces. But the writers could choose to create new wesen to be explored and to keep fans interested, which would entail a bigger budget.

While I understand that most spinoffs tend to stay in the present focusing on one character and his/her journeys or they move forward into the future with new characters, I think the concept with going back in time to reveal more about Nick’s ancestors is just as promising. “Grimm” takes place in other times, such as the Medieval Ages or the Victorian Era.

Fantasy dramas are the shows that can have good, potential spinoffs since writers have to get creative to give the show a foundational structure and a “Bible” of rules, so to speak, that the characters follow. In the past, several of these shows and their spinoffs have been successful.

Joss Whedon’s fantasy action drama “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which aired from 1997 to 2003, had its spinoff “Angel” air from 1999 to 2004, according to The shows received many nominations and awards for both cast and crew. The shows were a hit and “Angel” helped cushion the series finale of “Buffy” since it ended the year after “Buffy” ended.

Additionally, ABC’s fantasy/adventure drama “Once Upon A Time” centers on the existence of a variety of fairytale characters, ranging from Cinderella to Rumpelstiltskin. The spinoff, as the title implies, takes place in Wonderland and sets around the adventures of Alice, back in time before our current “Once” adventures occur.

The CW’s fantasy/horror drama “The Vampire Diaries” includes vampires, werewolves, witches and hybrids (half vampire, half werewolves). Its spinoff “The Originals” centers on our favorite hybrid and Original vampire Klaus and his brother Elijah who moves back to New Orleans to take back his modernized town and kingdom.

Both shows have been well received by critics and fans are looking forward to their respective spinoffs.

There is without a doubt that “Grimm” should get its own spinoff show. Creativity on the writers’ part could expand the Grimm universe. Grimmsters would love it and new viewers can get hooked on the suspense and witty humor.

No. 1 Notre Dame vs. USC
Notre Dame is the No. 1 team in the BCS standings for the first time in school history, and it is now one win away from a chance to compete for its first national championship since 1988. The Fighting Irish is the last major unbeaten team, and a victory over a slumping USC squad that will be without quarterback Matt Barkley will likely earn its a berth in the title game. Notre Dame boasts the nation’s top defense, as it has held opponents to just 10.1 points per game. This Notre Dame defense will be difficult for the Trojans to score against, especially with redshirt freshman Max Wittek making his first career start after throwing for 95 yards and a touchdown in limited playing time this season. USC will be hungry to play spoiler in what has been a disappointing season for the Trojans, but the Irish will be just as interested in clinching a trip to the national championship game.
Game at 7:00 CT on ABC

Georgia Tech vs. No. 3 Georgia
Thanks to Saturday’s losses by Kansas State and Oregon, Georgia likely controls its own destiny for a trip to the national title game.Georgia’s already in the SEC Championship and the winner of that game will likely be given the chance to compete for a national championship, putting a huge emphasis on this one for Georgia — if it loses, it doesn’t matter what happens in the SEC Championship. Aaron Murray has had a big year for the Bulldogs, throwing for 2,986 yards and 28 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. His play, coupled with the outstanding Georgia running game, has made the Bulldogs one of the SEC’s most potent offenses. Georgia Tech has been no slouch offensively either, as the Yellow Jackets are third in the nation in averaging 324.9 rushing yards per game. The Yellow Jackets would love to be able to end their rival’s championship aspirations, but they will likely have to be prepared to win in a shootout to do so.
Game at 11:00 CT on ESPN

No. 4 Florida vs. No. 10 Florida State
The door remains open for the Gators to earn a berth in the national championship game, but they need a lot of things to happen. First and foremost: beat the rival Seminoles. Florida is on a three-game win streak after suffering its only loss of the season against the Bulldogs, and it brings in the nation’s third most stringent defense in allowing just 11.7 points per game. The Gators face a tough task, though, as Florida State is seventh in the nation in scoring and fifth in points allowed. EJ Manuel has thrown for 2,785 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Seminoles, and as a team they are averaging 5.6 yards per carry.At the very least, both teams are competing for a bid to a BCS game, and a win in this matchup would solidify either team’s chances.
Game at 2:30 CT on ABC

No. 5 Oregon vs. No. 15 Oregon State
The Ducks will need some serious help in order to clinch a spot in the national championship game following their overtime loss to Stanford last Saturday. In addition to needing losses by several of the top four teams this weekend, Oregon will need a win against the Beavers to keep its title hopes alive. That is easier said than done, as Oregon State has gone 8-2 this season and has won two games against ranked opponents. The Ducks still possess one of the nation’s most dangerous offenses, averaging 51.1 points per game. The Beavers will be eager to hinder the championship aspirations of their in-state rival while improving their own bowl position, while the Ducks will be desperate to come away with an impressive victory and keep their title hopes alive.
Game at 2:00 CT on Pac 12 Network

No. 14 Ohio State vs. No. 20 Michigan State

This matchup features a pair of strong teams in what is a possible conference championship game preview. Ohio State has looked strong on both sides of the ball this year in winning each of its first four games. Braxton Miller has been a star for the Buckeyes thus far, leading the team in both passing and rushing yards while being involved in 14 touchdowns in three games. He will face his toughest test yet, as Michigan State has held opponents to just 11.8 points per game in 2012. The Spartans have struggled on offense at times, however, averaging just 21 points per game through four weeks. This could very well come down to who performs better between the Buckeyes’ offense and the Spartans’ defense.

Game at 2:30 CT on ABC


No. 25 Baylor vs. No. 9 West Virginia

An aerial display between two top quarterbacks will be on display in this one. Nick Florence has transitioned into the starting role seamlessly thus far, throwing for 1,004 yards and 11 touchdowns in leading Baylor to a 3-0 record. Geno Smith has been even better for the Mountaineers, passing for 1,072 yards and 12 touchdowns without an interception in his first three games. It will be interesting to see how well West Virginia performs in its first Big 12 game since joining the conference and the Bears will be their toughest test so far in the season.

Game at 11:00 CT on FX


Wisconsin at No. 22 Nebraska

Another enticing Big Ten contest, this one features a pair of 3-1 teams that love to run the football. Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah has made strides this season, recording 416 yards on 69 carries this season and leading the team with six overall touchdowns. Montee Ball has not gotten off to quite the start that many expected him to after rushing for nearly 2,000 yards last season, but he has still earned 360 yards on the ground and has scored three touchdowns in four games. The Cornhuskers have outperformed the Badgers to this point, but this could be a game where Wisconsin looks to make a statement to the rest of the conference with a big win.

Game at 7:00 CT on ABC


Tennessee at No. 5 Georgia

In the SEC’s biggest matchup of the week, the Bulldogs should be at full strength for the first time this season with the return of a few suspended players. Led by Tyler Bray’s 1,301 passing yards, the Volunteers are ranked 17th in the nation in total offense, just four spots behind the Bulldogs. Quarterback Aaron Murray and a duo of freshman running backs have paced a strong Georgia offense this year, but it is the Bulldogs’ defense that has been most impressive. Bray and the Volunteers will have to be able to complete drives with touchdowns if they are to have a chance at an upset, but that is easier said than done against one of the country’s best defenses.

Game at 2:30 CT on CBS

No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 8 Kansas State:
Saturday 2:30 p.m. | TV: ESPN

The last time that Kansas State was ranked this high was in the 2004 preseason poll. The Wildcats have gotten out to a 7-0 start this season, with marquee wins over Miami and Baylor. The true test for the Wildcats will come in the next four weeks, when they take on four straight ranked opponents starting with No. 9 Oklahoma on Saturday. Oklahoma may be their toughest test in the stretch though, especially since the Sooners are coming off of a demoralizing loss to Texas Tech that most likely knocked them out of the National Championship race. They will be motivated and looking to show no mercy this weekend. The Wildcats will have to lean heavily on their 19th-ranked rushing attack to keep the Oklahoma offense of the field. Kansas State’s running game is spearheaded by running back John Hubert, who has 637 yards in his sophomore campaign, and dual-threat quarterback Collin Klein, who has 670 yards and 14 touchdowns with his legs alone. Expect Kansas State to keep the ball on the ground to work the clock, but it will be a monumental task for the Wildcats to take on and defeat an angry Oklahoma squad.

Baylor at No. 3 Oklahoma State:
Saturday 2:30 p.m. | TV: ABC

High-scoring offenses, check. Two great quarterbacks, check. Two defenses that prefer to allow their offensives to win games for them, check. What does all of this equal for football fans? Perhaps the highest scoring and most entertaining game of the season. Despite his team’s pair of losses, Baylor’s Robert Griffin III still manages to see the top five in most Heisman watch lists because of his outstanding numbers. Griffin has already thrown for 1,950 yards, 22 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Oklahoma State is also led by a prolific player under center in senior Brandon Weedon, who has thrown for a video game-like total of 2,436 yards already this season. Leading the Cowboys’ second-ranked offensive attack, that averages 48.6 points a game. But unlike Baylor the Cowboys have elite level talent around Weedon, such as wide receiver Justin Blackmon. He is a likely top-five pick in the 2012 NFL draft, although after suffering concussion-like symptoms in their last game, Blackmon is questionable for the showdown with Baylor. Even without their star receiver on the field, expect the third-ranked Cowboys to continue their roll and out gun Baylor in a great game.

No. 11 Michigan State at No. 14 Nebraska:
Saturday 11 a.m. | TV: ESPN

Last week, Michigan State had perhaps the most exciting finish in college football this season when it completed a Hail Mary to knock off an undefeated Wisconsin squad while simultaneously ruining any national title hopes the Badgers had. However, this win for the Spartans was huge for them in their Big 10 title hopes, as it kept them undefeated in conference play and should give them the confidence moving forward to continue their roll. The Spartans are competitive in every game because of their outstanding defense that holds opponents to only 13.7 points a game — which is more than enough to allow their offense to work. While their offense is not the most explosive in the world, it is efficient. Senior quarterback Kirk Cousins takes care of the ball while moving it down the gridiron, as he has thrown only three interceptions this season. Nebraska has been strong in their first season in the Big 10, with its only loss coming to the previously mentioned Wisconsin squad. While the Cornhuskers aren’t the prettiest team to watch, they are effective at pounding the ball down your throat, averaging 261 rushing yards a game. This keeps the pressure off of quarterback Taylor Martinez and his throwing arm, which if used to often, causes Nebraska to lose games. Expect a smash mouth game with the Cornhuskers rushing attack and the Spartans defense clashing.

No. 6 Stanford at USC:
Saturday 7 p.m. | TV: ABC

Stanford has rolled early on this season, jumping off to a quick 7-0 start against average competition. But this week the Cardinal square off with perhaps the toughest team on their schedule thus far: USC. The Trojans have only one loss on the season and are coming off of an impressive 31-17 win against Notre Dame on Saturday. USC is led by junior quarterback Matt Barkley, who has thrown for 2,006 yards, 19 touchdowns and only four picks thus far. Barkley is a very gifted player and was the top prep recruit in the class of 2008. However, as luck would have it, the Trojans are up against one of the few quarterbacks in the country that could actually be better than Barkley: Andrew Luck. Luck is the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft and is looking to lead Stanford to a national title before he leaves. He has a great shot to do that if he can navigate the Cardinal through the rest of the Pac-12 schedule, starting with USC on Saturday. But even if Stanford stumbles against USC this weekend, the game is still a must see because of the NFL-level talent under center for both squads.