meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
I finished watching Sports Night!

I think Quo Vadimus is one of my favourite series finales ever. I'm a big fan of endings being open ended, and it doesn't get much more open ended that that. The major plotline - the future of the show - is resolved, but none of the romantic plots are given resolution and Sorkin seems to deliberately leaves the relationships of the show in ambiguous places.

I, in fact, really like the way the show handles romance in general. Yes, the dating plan is contrived, but at the same time, I really like that after a season of will-they-wont-they, Dana and Casey screw up their relationship before it can even begin and it becomes a definite 'they-wont'. It's not satisfactory in a romantic comedy sense, but it is satisfactory in that it's realistic. Plus it reminded me of Broadcast News.

I will do a bit Sports Night pimping post eventually, with pictures and things, when I have the time/energy.

Also, watched Stargate Universe and – surprisingly - I don't hate it. I don't think it's great, but I don't hate it, which is something.

But basically what I got from watching it is that the Stargate writers obviously watched BSG and decided they wanted to make that show, so watched and took notes and decided that what made BSG great was death, darkness and the shaky-cam. So what we got was Stargate with death, darkness and a shaky-cam.

Unfortunately, what made BSG great was not death, darkness and the shaky-cam (although, I do think BSG is one of the most beautifully shot shows on telly). It was complex, layered characters, intelligent writing and big themes with more hits than misses their execution. And well, the Stargate writers have never been that great at characters, and particularly not at character development, the writing was to much of a rip off to be intelligent and themes, umm, what themes? (can we shoot some bad guys now?)

And more unfortunately, in order to make it a new, 'improved' and 500% more serious Stargate, they had to do away with the elements that made the Stargate franchise so wonderfully watchable in the first place: the funny, the crack and the team-y goodness. Coz what Stargate is to me, it's funny sci-fi crack, filled with team-y goodness.

Plus, I can't seperate it from the rest of the Stargate Universe, which means that I can't sit back and watch the characters scrambling around for a double episode trying to fix a problem and not think to myself, 'just give Sam or McKay duck-tape and a crazy straw and they'd have that fixed in five minutes.'

Still, I found it didn't actively suck. And it was great seeing what SG1 is up to these days (for the record: Jack's gotten fat, Daniel's the host of 'Stargate for dummies' instructional videos, and Sam's in command of her own spaceship, and has Teal'c waiting for her in her quarters. Okay, I made up that last part, but somebody's got to be a rabid Teal'c/Sam shipper, and the lack of a Teal'c cameo was disheartening). And I actually want to see what happens next week, so I will probably watch.
meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
With fall tv premiers happening soon, this is about the time when I go on a tv cull, deciding what to watch and what to not watch. But this year, I seem to be watching very little so I don't need to drop things to make room. Of the new shows last year, the only one I really checked out was Fringe, and I got bored of that pretty quickly and stopped watching. I keep on meaning to give up Grey's Anatomy, but somehow I keep watching despite myself. Last season's House finale disappointed me a lot and I loathe Huddy, real or imaginary. (For me it's House/misanthropy, House/Wilson/misanthropy or House/Wilson/Amber), but I'll probably still end up watching that as well.

But yeah, in new shows I'm quite excited about Glee, because the pilot was adorable, I seem to love musical television shows and I loved Popular back in the day, which was by the same guy (anyone else remember that show? It was a lot more witty than normal teen fare). Flash Forward's getting a bit of hype, and I can't help but love the cast, but the central premise seems just a bit dull. I'll check out the pilot, but if it doesn't get interesting quickly or turns out to be as frustrating as Lost, I'll probably not watch.

In the battle of the next potential BSGs, I'm really exited about V, which unfortunately doesn't premiere until November. I've got little to go on aside from buzz, but the buzz is good. I've seen the pilot for Caprica, which has an even further away premier date of January. I liked it a lot, but it's more Rome than BSG. That's not a bad thing as I loved Rome and I'll certainly watch Caprica, but the setting gives it such a different feel to its parent show and its certainly weird that my mental comparison goes first not to the show that spawned it, but to a completely different and not at all related show. But then, I think of BSG as Rome in space, since, aside from the religious aspects, it has a similar mixture of military matters, political intrigue and personal drama. Actually, it struck me the other day that Lee and Zarek from Sine Qua Non to Blood on the Scales are kind of like Octavian and Mark Antony, the inexperienced adopted son vs. the second in command for to be the heir to Julius Caesar's (Roslin's) throne. (And if Zarek is Mark Antony, I would suppose that would make Gaeta Cleopatra...).

Anyway, back to what I was talking about, Stargate: Universe actually has the most BSG-esq premise, but I'll only watch if it gets good reviews. I trust the Stargate writers to do lighthearted, snarky and slightly cracky. I don't trust them to be able to pull off serious, intelligent and dark.

One thing I have noticed lately is that aside from the likes of Doctor Who, Grey's and House, most of the television I watch these days I don't watch when it originally airs. Lately I seem to discover it on DVD some time after it originally aired and often after the series has ended (as is what happened with Rome, BSG and Life on Mars), and by the time I've gotten into it everyone else has moved on. So I'm determined to be more onto it with my show watching.
meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
Stargate Atlantis won my little 'what should I watch next poll', but then I got to talking about television shows with my mother, and her verdict on Atlantis was not positive so I'm a bit hesitant.

But then I had a better idea: I'd watch the Star Trek movies in order. I'm not really a Star Trek fan but I watched them all as a child as my father's a Trekkie, and with the new movie coming out soon I'm feeling nostalgic, and since I don't like Kirk and I don't like Spock (I heart McCoy though) it's bound to be fun watching them and counting down how many I have to watch until the TNG cast show up (um, yeah, TNG is my favourite). But then my local video store didn't have any of the Star Trek movies, which is a massive level of fail.

So after the disappointment of discovering my awesome Star Trek plan was foiled, I was feeling in need for comedy so I've got out Flight of the Conchords. That, and if I don't have the episodes memorised soon, I'm in danger of having my New Zealand citizenship revoked. (I've watched a few episodes and loved them, it's just I keep on forgetting it's on. Oh, and I get crappy reception of that channel).
meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
I'm trying desperately to ignore the fact that BSG has ended. If I don’t think about it, I won't be tempted to find out how it ends and spoil myself. Although I may have accidentally spoiled myself for one small but crucial detail. In terms of my own watching, I've just finished Maelstrom in season three, so I'm getting there.

A trailer has been released for Stargate: Universe, which is looking less like fandom's original fears of Stargate: 90210 and more like Stargate: BSG. Thing is, I’m not sure if I want Stargate to turn into BSG. I like the Stargate as it was back in the SG1 days, filled with team-y goodness, techonobable and humour, not as a BSG knock-off. So yes, juries still out on whether I'll watch

Also, I saw Watchmen.

No spoilers, but long enough to need a cut and maybe a slight bit wanky )

Anyway, the people who I saw it with thought it was brilliant and proceeded to give me a big lecture about being a snob after I came out of the movie criticising it, so consider me thoroughly told off.
meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
As I mentioned briefly early, the Heroes volume finale isn't bad. In fact, I would categorise it as quite good. I think for a few reasons:

Brief Listy Thing )

But mostly because Worf is the US President. Nope, the Star Trek casting never gets old. And yes, I probably will be tuning in next volume because apparently there is something wrong with me. But then Bryan Fuller has made me hopeful for this show. But I swear, if I get even a wiff of another Sylar redemption arc, I'm off faster than Daphne.

I've decided that while Sanctuary shall be never a particularly accolade worth show, it is fantastic in a completely cracky way. The season finale two-parter has Magnus team up with Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, Nikola Tesla (i.e. the old crew) and the Invisible Man's invisible Granddaugher - and it is awesome in the way only having fictional characters and historical figures bitching at each other can be.

I'm also still on a Stargate thing at the moment. I keep on meaning to watch Atlantis, but I can't seem to find the time. Add it to the big list of shows I'm going to watch one day when I discovery the secret of having free time (along with Battlestar Galactica) Watching a show as it comes out every week isn't bad, but trying to watch a seasons worth of episodes in week - or however long I can rent them for – is a bit too much of a mission for me at the moment.

I was initially incredibly sceptical about the new spinoff Stargate: Universe, which appears Star Trek: Voyager with annoying twenty-somethings, which is particularly ironic since the 'younger and sexier' concept has already been mocked mercilessly by the original show. But then Robert Carlyle was cast and now I don't know what to think. I love Stargate, but it's not the kind of franchise that attracts people with Baftas. I'm worried the franchise may be a bit tired, and apparently Atlantis sucks this season, but then Unending happens to be one of my favourite episodes of television ever and that was the 214th and final episode of SG1, so maybe age has nothing to with the ability for good television. Potential there, maybe? I dunno.

Anyone know when Ashes to Ashes is going to start up again? It's been far too long since the last series ended.
meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
Being that my travel plans have been postponed, for the first time in what feels like forever, I've actually had free time.

In recent television, the SJA finale was wonderful. The Brigadier was underutilised I thought, I was expecting something a little more School Reunion-ish. But Mrs. Wormwood was the magic. Heroes managed to shock me and come out with an episode which I would actually describe as 'good'. Meanwhile the latest Sanctuary episode was so god-awful I cringed all the way through. At least it was laughably awful rather than offensively awful. Hopefully, Sanctuary's sudden drop in quality is an anomaly and Heroes's sudden rise is not.

I was given by my wonderful flatmates a copy of The Dark Knight for Christmas and I've been checking out the special features today, of which it's pretty light on. However, I really kind of love those little Gotham Tonight fake news segments. I'm a big fan of fake non-fiction. Instead of watching that universe, it takes you inside it. I always thought back when The West Wing was my major fandom, how wonderful it would be to pick up a news magazine and see Bartlet on the front.

Also watched the 200th episode of Stargate SG-1 again (aptly named 200), which is quite possible one of the greatest episodes of television ever since it's pretty much a fourth wall bending prodigy of itself (and nothing escapes the lampooning), and also Star Trek, Farscape, Thunderbirds, The Wizard of Oz, Ewoks, the recent plethora of zombie movies, 'younger and sexier' television, shipper pandering and batshit paternity revelations. Best bit in my opinion is not one of the skits, but simply the bit where Teal'c calmly says "I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."

And finally, watched a wonderful little docudrama, The Worst Journey in the World, about Aspley Cherry-Gerrard written by and staring Mark Gatiss. Cherry-Gerrard's another Antarctic explorer, blamed by some at the time for failing to save Scott, Bowers and Wilson. He was eleven miles from where they died, but didn't press on, instead obeying Scott's order not to risk the dogs. Anyway, the winder before the ill-fated pole expedition he went the journey with Bowers and Wilson to retrieve an Emperor Penguin egg. It was horrific, but they all survived, Bowers and Wilson to die later and Gerrard to be psychologically scared for life. More interestingly is that Cherry-Gerrard is a bit more meta about his experience than most if not all other polar explorers, posing the question of whether the suffering was worth anything. I really need to get a hold of and read his book.
meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
Back to the topic of my revival of my obsession with Stargate SG-1, I watched the two post-cancellation direct-to-DVD movies, Ark of Truth and Continuum. This being SG-1, there's artifact hunting, space battles, time travel, alternative universes, a considerable amount of snarking, wonderful team moments (I really can't express how much I love the glorious team-ness of this show) and macaroons.

Ark of Truth )

Continuum )

So verdict is that both movies are incredibly enjoyable for me, and while Continuum certainly is the better of the two I loved them both. However, they are certainly not up to the standard set by Serenity when it comes to a post-cancellation movies. They're not really true 'movies' rather just extra long concluding episodes and they are so continuity-laden they would be terrible for people that didn't watch the show or seasons 9 and 10.

I'm now trying really hard not to be tempted into watching Atlantis
meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
From the time I was 12ish to the time I was about 15ish and discovered The West Wing, Stargate SG-1 was my absolute favourite show in the whole wide world. Let's see, a show about an elite team of intergalactic space heroes (Alt!Sam's words) who save the planet from mythology-steeped alien threats and that doesn't take itself too serious - of course I loved it.

As a result, for me Earth defending teams are always judged against SG-1 standards: they have to be competent, for the most part professional, snarky, genre-aware and, most importantly, like each other. Because, really, it's that last bit that makes SG-1 work so well as a show. Jack, Sam, Daniel and Teal'c (and later Cam and Vala) actually enjoy each other's company and work so well as a team and generally don't screw each other over unless there is some major thing going on.

Unfortunately, somewhere around season seven due to bad scheduling and the cast changes I lost interest and I never really made an effort to watch the later seasons. That was, until now…

Cue vaguely organised rambling thoughts )

Now I'm going to have to watch Ark of Truth and Continuum.

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