The Cave

30 Jun

TV

There’s not much TV I find worth watching, but sometimes, a show is a must see. Writing and acting are king; an interesting plot with good execution doesn’t hurt. Very rarely in any season do I find something worth watching religiously, but sometimes. So anyway, there’s a few things worth seeing. Rent the older ones if you have to. Highly recommended:

  • Heroes – Short season (13 issues<g>), but very well done. Brilliant ending too. You have to see most of the season to truly grasp the last episode’s brilliance. Everything is more than it seems.
  • Stargate SG-1 – First season is mixed, but gets notably better quickly. Had a few weaker spots in the later seasons, but even season 10 was better than most crap on TV.
  • Babylon 5 – Outstanding. Written like a novel, and it showed. Watch from the beginning, and even the uneven first season episodes are worthwhile, especially in season 2 where you realize there was a whole lot of hidden depth and references that suddenly makes a lot more sense.
  • Highlander – The TV show was good, especially from the start of season 3 when they introduced the Watchers and gave the show a larger background to work off. You could easily skip season 1+2 and just start at 3. And it’s definitely a sci-fi-ish show that should appeal to women, with Adrian Paul being the star.
  • The West Wing – The last couple of seasons were adequate, but the first 3+ were outstanding. Not very subtle about its Democratic viewpoints, but always presented the issues in intelligent and nuanced ways, even if the preferred outcomes were a bit left leaning. But TV like this comes along but rarely, and even staunch right-wingers should enjoy the top notch cast, direction and yes, writing. Aaron Sorkin wrote the series, just the the movie, and his genius shined thru.
  • StarTrek:NextGeneration – Best of the trek’s. Took them over a season to get the hang of things, but late season 2 onward (and especially season 3) were damned worth the time. Pay close attention, the seasons crediting Melinda Snodgrass were some of the best.
  • Buffy:The Vampire Slayer – Amusing, obvious and not so, at the same time. And of course, Josh’s deft touch and dark sense of humor. The first season didn’t take long to get its feet, and season 2 is far and away the best. Don’t watch the season 2 finale until you’ve watched most of season 2, it makes much more sense and impact then. The rest was good, but never quite touched that singular moment at the end of season 2. That said, damn fine television. The Dark Willow episodes were good, and Anya was always a trip. And make sure you see the 87 minute musical episode in the original uncut form (it’s missing large chunks when rebroadcast in syndication). That was amazing – not only is it a workable musical in the classic sense, but it’s also a major plot moment; it works in its own right, and the lyrics are substantially evolve the characters and plots building to that point. Slickly done, and not common to see something working at 3 levels all at the same time – and hitting each dead on.
  • Firefly – Too bad politics at Fox screwed up what looked to be one of Josh’s best works. Rent the DVDs and watch all 13 episodes. In order, unlike how Fox first broadcast them. Then rent Serenity to see how the River Tam plot worked out. A shame the show didn’t get a few years.
  • Angel – Earlier seasons were OK, but season 5 with Spike and Illyria were tops. Quite watchable if you only watch that.
  • Battlestar Galactica – I tried to watch it when it started, and it just didn’t click. Watch the 1st episode, then skip ahead to mid season 2. I happened to tune in one day, around when “Resurrection Ship” was broadcast, and it was freakin’ great. Intricate real characters with motivations, actual plot and writing, and a point. A must see. Then after you watch the end of season 2, with Pegasus and the planet, watch the opening of season 3 when Adama goes to fetch. Alas, YouTube took the clip off so you have to watch the episode. Do it. You’ll know what I mean. “The Adama Maneuver”. Pretty cool. Rest of season 3 got weaker. Supposedly season 4 will be the last, so if they rise to the occasion it should kick mighty shiny butt.
  • Enterprise – OK, mixed, and the Temporal Cold War wasn’t a shining moment in Trek history, but the 4th season was really hitting its stride (“In a Mirror, Darkly” was one of the best). A shame they killed it, just when it finally was tapping its potential.
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