Often wildly inappropriate.
Often wildly inappropriate.
We didn’t have a television until I turned seven (or thereabouts, memories are far from exact), so I don’t have any televised heroes before school days.
And in those days my absolute role model was Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica. I had missed the theatrical run of Star Wars, so Dirk Benedict’s take on the cooler and larger than life character was something completely new (and not just Han Solo with added womanizing and decreased cynicism).
When Galactica returned with the disastrous 1980 series (the one with boy scouts and flying bikes), the biggest question was the whereabouts of Starbuck. The last episode finally delivered the goods.
The arrival of Katee Sackhoff as Starbuck in the new Galactica was something of a shock, but that quickly wore off.
And the theme song of the original series never fails.
I was sorely tempted to fall back to using Kermit and Miss Piggy again, but an unconsummated cross-species union is probably what is being sought in the challenge.
So, it’s Homer and Marge Simpson instead. After all, their marriage has lasted 24 seasons already.
I don’t consciously pay attention to characters’ clothing in television any more than in real life. Which is to say, very little.
Hence, trying to figure out which show contains the best dressed people is a shot in the dark.
But Game of Thrones does fit the bill, as the variety is extensive and the different cultures treated more deeply than just changing the dominant color in the tunics.
I haven’t seen a sports show worth watching.
Which is odd, since I actually belong to the minority that likes american football and used to follow NBA, too.
But it’s more about the lack of time, not the lack of shows.
I haven’t seen a single episode of Friday Night Lights, considering that I regard Any Given Sunday as one of Oliver Stone’s best films, the DVR that ate the first four episodes has lots to answer for.
Nope, the best christmas episode is the only piece of television during which I have had to request to pause the show and stand up on account of being acutely worried that I would rupture a couple of vital inner organs otherwise.
And that piece of absolute mirth and joy is Mr Hankey, the Christmas Poo off the first season of South Park.
I used to be a dream customer for merchandizers, buying shirts and books and magazines and barely canon-related comic books. And yes, two bottles of Tru Blood, too.
Started off innocently enough with a X-Files shirt given as a birthday gift and went nuts from there.
Lately, though, things have been more sparse. A single Doctor Who t-shirt is the only one in the last year or so.
HBO’s store in New York is obviously a financial nightmare.
Haven’t bought more than just one Game of Thrones-shirt – Starks, obviously – the pictured one would be a nice companion to that.
Awesome Futurama Poster with the whole cast of the show.
I’d pay good money for this, but it’s actually available for free. If I ever run into Unrellius, I’ll definitely offer a beer.
Most of the great finnish television shows are firmly in the comedy genre: Tabu, Pasila, Kummeli (the early seasons), Julmahuvi.
So the few non-comedic standouts remain at the top even after a few decades: Neil Hardwick’s Musta Tuntuu and Pakanamaan Kartta, as well as the thoroughly limited series Tuntemattomalle Jumalalle.
Nonetheless, the daring and the wide variety of Tabu takes the top position.
The best team is also one of the largest ever – that of Hill Street Blues station.
I’d be Andrew Wells, the resident reformed geek villain of Buffy.
Most cop shows run the same team these days: the CSI and NCIS franchises run with pretty much similar crews, with just the serial numbers changed. And the same applies to most other procedurals: Criminal Minds is pretty much the same, Bones shakes up the roster a little, but very little indeed.
For some reason the crew of NCIS: Los Angeles rubbed me really the wrong way. Missed the pilot episode, so the characters were unknowns from the start.
But they grew up on me. Kinda expected on LL Cool J, but highly unexpected on the part of Chris O’Donnel.
Haven’t seen beyond the season one finale, so they might have turned their annoy-o-trons back on since then.
Then again, I also found Niles Crane extremely annoying on the first few episodes, so my tastes definitely are adaptable.
That would be Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah from West Wing’s third season finale and n+1 other shows, too.
And yeah, I know it’s Buckley’s take on the John Cale’s version of the Leonard Cohen original.
I had heard the song before, but this show prompted me to find out who performed it and to buy the album.
There’s many a decent crime shows to choose from: the BBC modernization of Sherlock is nothing short of magnificent (but a three episode season every two years is kinda slow pace), CSI started a whole new police procedural genre, Criminal Minds brutalized it, and Bones finally perfected it with a cast of genuine characters instead of cardboard cutouts.
But they all pale in comparison to the greatest of them all: The Wire. Which, obviously, is far from a mere crime show, but as its backbone is the police department, there’s no way to avoid nominating it. After all, despite all the bitching and insubordination, McNulty and the rest of the team does some quality police work indeed.
Many sidekicks deserve their own shows.
And my two finalists are off the same show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show that worked with long story arcs, snappy dialogue and a cast of unforgettable characters.
For a long time I would have given Spike his own series. After all, the blonde british vampire was pretty much the best thing that was permanently attached to the show.
But Spike’s history is more than thoroughly explored during the show. And behind bad poetry, rampant travelling with bad people and not letting go of british cultural values doesn’t really give much in the long term prospects. I hate to say it, but in this contest James Marsters ends up in the second place.
And the crown of laurels is put on Rupert Giles, Buffy’s long-suffering watcher. Even though his backstory contains many of the same elements as Spike’s, the rebellion, dark magic and rock’n'roll is far neater when connected to a fusty pre-maturely middle-aged man. A man whose history is far less known, and with serious Hellblazer-style street magic. Conveniently confined to a couple of decades for simplicity, not traipsing through centuries like Spike would have.
The concept of “Ripper” as a show of its own has meat on its bones. So much meat that Joss Whedon actually began development of such a show with BBC, but that sadly fell apart.
I was tempted, sorely tempted to settle for Adam West-era Batman and Robin, but a plushy couple overtakes the Gotham Knights easily:
I’m still semi-bitter about Twin Peaks.
The second season kept on piling mysteries and subplots on an already quite well established heap.
And then it was all done, without any resolution.
The prequel movie didn’t help much either.
Quite appropriately Lynchian total lack of closure, but nonetheless frustrating.
I don’t watch reality-tv.
Apart from the domestic slice of the Master Chef-franchise.
But it’s not annoying enough to warrant a mention.
Of the Big Brothers and brethren I couldn’t care less, but can’t name any names.
The best character would be J.D. La Rue from Hill Street Blues.
The streetwise plainclothes detective played by his own rules. Fell from grace. Redeemed himself. And was immensely entertaining for the duration of the show. Eight seasons.
I’ve slipped terribly. Watching television is increasingly rare in the HQ, on account of many reasons. A persistently broken DVR and the time spent with Elmo are by far the biggest reasons why we’re seriously dragging down the national average spent in front of the television.
In no particular order of preference, here’s what’s been watched lately, nonetheless:
Doctor Who, beginning of season seven (post-reboot counting, obviously). There’s far too little humane science fiction on television.
Game of Thrones, still at the beginning of season two. I just wonder how the grievously dull volumes four and five will be rendered by HBO.
Big Bang Theory, approaching the tenth episode of season one. Mindless fun for the whole family.
True Blood, beginning of season six (I think). Despite the overwhelming chicklit approach, it’s not a bad show at all.
Prison Break, somewhere in Utah (i.e. midpoint of season two). Very late with this one, indeed. Nowhere near as good as the debut series, but not too bad either.
Two british institutions collide beautifully in this Doctor Who timeline rendered as a subway map.
Decent articles like this 20 year anniversary article that concentrates on the history of the show are almost powerful enough to re-embark on a 110-episode mission. Almost.
Doctor Who turns 50 this year, this convenient image collection attempts to explain the concepts, characters and collateral.