Mar 232014

I’ve referred to the old Battlestar Galactica theme song already (this time without the lengthy spoken intro, though):

Another personal favorite is MacGyver, whose intro captures the essence of eighties action television:

And Buffy does the same for noughties:

Hill Street Blues is the theme song I’ve likely heard the most times:

But the top position goes to Angelo Badalamenti – his Twin Peaks theme song still sends shivers up and down my spine:

TV Thursday #27: The best theme song

Mar 122014

Professor Drøvel's HemmelighetI would pay good money to get to experience again the masterfully nonsensical weirdness of Professor Drøvel (and the rest of the Dal Brothers’ shows. As an impressionable nine year old the first two series (no idea if any more was ever shown in Finland) left permanent scars on my soul.

The 2010 box-set seems to be available domestically, though without subtitles in other languages than Norwegian, it would be tough act to understand.

TV Thursday #25: Best in foreign language

Mar 022014

Dirk Benedict as StarbuckWe 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.

TV Thursday #20: Childhood Hero

Mar 012014

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.

Game of Thrones costumes

TV Thursday #18: Dressed up

Jan 102014

The Catch

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.

And since I’ve been an Aaron Sorkin fanboy for ages, his Sports Night definitely would be worth catching. I fiddled with the box set once, but decided against it for some obscure reason.

TV Thursday #17: Sports

Jan 082014

Mr. HankeyThe best christmas episode ever is not a Doctor Who one, nor a very Christmassy Ted.

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.

TV Thursday: Christmas!

Jan 082014

Hodor shirtI 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.

TV Thursday #15: Merchandized

Jan 062014

Tabu Logo

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.

TV Thursday #14: Best domestic

Jan 052014

NCIS: Los AngelesFor 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.

TV Thursday #10: Used to hate him/her/them

Dec 292013

The Wire logoThere’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.

TV Thursday #8: Best new wave crime show

Dec 282013

Rupert GilesMany 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.

TV Thursday #7: Give the poor bastard his own show already!