Thursday, March 15, 2007

Great Television

As I wallow in my ongoing depression over the Pokey situation, and find myself more and more disgusted by the day about what's become of a once great company, I find solace in the fact that there's still some good TV out there.

Firefly is my #1 all time favorite TV show of all time. It was cancelled by stupid, stupid FOX before it ran a full season. It's a gritty far future space western. I won't say more, because every person should be allowed to experience it first hand. SLY B and I have a stay-at-home set and a loaner set of the DVDs, if anyone wants to borrow. Joss Whedon is my master.

Another of my faves is Battlestar Galactica. If you don't watch it, I highly recommend that you try to catch up in time for the start of Season 4 in January of 2008. The human race is all but wiped out, and those who are left -- less than 50,000 -- are at war with an enemy who by their superior strength and smarts should be able to wipe them out easily, but haven't. It's a great examination of the imperfection, yet endurance, of humanity. Great stuff.

I can't talk about great TV without mentioning Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love Buffy, and love Angel too. I'm sure that if Joss Whedon put out audio CDs of himself farting, I'd buy them. I just think he's a genius. Buffy was my first TV fandom, and my first Joss love. I think it is brilliant in it's treatment of female power, the notion of duty, and the belief in the potential for humanity. I have half a mind to spend some time blogging here about some of the great things I find in Buffy -- mainly because I find a lot of the stuff out there about the buffyverse to be pretty boring.

I've talked elsewhere on this blog about loving Deadwood and The Sopranos. I think most of the HBO original series are pretty great -- we loved Carnivale and Six Feet Under, and I watched Oz solo and loved it. On the solid recommendation of Janet, we've got The Wire on our list to catch up on too -- I've seen Season 1, and it is indeed great, though Janet says Season 4 is the best. thing. evah. We're gonna finally break down and order HBO and Showtime next month -- HBO because they're making a series based on the George R.R. Martin books (puffy shirts!!) and a new Alan Ball vampire series that sounds positively brimming with gay, and Showtime because This American Life is coming in a few weeks.

I'll mention a few more briefly: Veronica Mars remains one of our favorite shows. The writing is just smart, and it reminds us of Buffy. We are sad because it looks like the stupid, stupid CW is going to cancel our Roni. Those bastards. I also am smitten with Heroes. It's really fun, and different. It doesn't have the great writing of the other shows I've mentioned, but the story is enticing for me.

Writers of good TV, I salute you. Now, if we could just get the networks to give good shows a chance, we'd have it made.

A few connections: Buffy, Angel, and Firefly - Joss Whedon; Joss LOVES Veronica Mars, and even guest-starred in an episode; Battlestar Galactica started as a mini-series on the SciFi channel -- as an homage, Ronald D. Moore included Serenity (the ship from Firefly) flying around in one of the scenes; Ronald D. Moore was the producer for Season 1 of Carnivale . . .


Sly B said...

I have to admit to being a big fan of Buffy as well. And Firefly, well, that goes without saying. I can't imagine that there is anyone who doesn't like Firefly. That would be like not liking breathing. It's a beautiful thing. I do have one complaint about Joss' genius - he's ruined all other t.v. for me. I hate to admit this, but I'm even talking about Star Trek: The Next Generation. I've been forcing EssBee to watch the entire STNG series and I find myself completely bored and frustrated with the episodes. The high quality of the writing and character development of Joss' shows has affected me so that I've come to expect similar quality in all the shows I watch. The only other shows I've seen that come close are Veronica Mars and The West Wing (in the West Wing, the writing was good, but it had other issues). The other thing that I think makes Joss' shows amazing is the way he uses humor. I do watch Battlestar Gallactica, but have to admit, I am often bored during episodes. I blame this on Joss. The writing isn't as good and the creaters of that show should study Joss' work to get some clues about using humor. Sure - the situation is dire, but humor is a way that humans deal with dire situations. Joss uses it like a master, and throws humor at his audiences when it is least expected, which makes it that much more enjoyable. Then again, after Firefly, I'm not sure any SciFi-spaceship-outerspace show is ever going to please me. Then again, there was a time I thought STNG was the end all and be all...

EssBee said...

Love of mine, I agree that the writing on Galactica isn't Joss-worthy, but I think it's pretty fracking good. The people in the Galactica universe aren't funny, but they do have their moments. Remember when they were running out of food and Admiral Adama and Tigh got hysterical about "if we don't do something soon, they'll start eating paper", then "can't -- paper shortage."

What I love about Galactica more and more (just re-watched last nights episode) is the human complexity that it shows us. Do we love Roslin? Or hate her? Is Adama a great leader? Or as flawed as the rest of us?