Geek Week

Recently, I have had my geek status called into question. At the same time, my husband and I ran out of shows to watch on DVD. Seeing an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and geekify my life while providing evening entertainment, I took suggestions on what we should watch next. As I am very cheap, the only actual criteria was that the show be available as a free loan from my library. Therefore, no Dr. Who for me. We started out with Firefly/Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Battlestar Galactica. And here’s what I thought. If you’ve never seen these shows before, there may be some spoilers. I did include links in case there is someone more out of the loop than I am.

photo from wikipedia

Firefly:

Can’t talk about it. Still crying in my heart a little. Okay, more than a little. And I am so late discovering this one that I will never have a Malcolm Reynolds action figure to put under my pillow. I cannot believe that this show was taken off the air but Dancing With the Stars is still around. There is little hope for this world.

What I could do without: the naughty bits. They add nothing to the show and prevent me from sharing it with my kids.

photo from wikipedia

Buffy:

Another creation by Joss Whedon, which was why we decided to check it  out.

Premise: Ridiculous. A teenager worrying about pimples, dating and killing vampires.

Acting: Abysmal.

Will we watch again? You’d better believe it. The preposterous nature is what sells it. And we’ve only seen episode 1, Season 1. As the cast gels, I would imagine the acting gets better.

photo from wikipedia. Where else?

 

Battlestar Galactica: Okay, this may the point where someone revokes my probationary geek card. And tears it into tiny pieces.  And poops on it.

I didn’t like it. I wanted to like it. Didn’t like it. I never got the opportunity to watch as a kid. It tended to come on at the same time my family was getting churched up. I was intrigued by the awesome toys, and I was curious about the show, but the rare Sunday evenings when I was home, I had missed so much that it made no sense. I was hoping that catching the new series would somehow make up for what I missed as a kid. And maybe that’s too much burden for one television show to bear.

There were a few things I did like. The acting was really good for a bunch of B-or-lower list actors shooting together for what I am assuming was the first time. We watched the miniseries, not the actual series, so it is a reasonable assumption that this one was shot and aired first. Am I right?

The visual effects were great. I have no idea what was green screen and what was actual set. The show definitely looked big-budget without being over-the-top.

The villain was real. He was not 100% evil with no heart. He was a greedy, cowardly genius who made a big, fat, stupid mistake. He could be anybody. He possesses those traits buried in all of us that will one day lead to our downfall.

And here’s what I didn’t like. It was slow. Slow to get to any real action, slow to ask the questions that were already in my head. If they can’t address the obvious, there is no way they can survive. I have no interest in devoting my time to a hopeless mission.

Here’s what they’re going to have to do something with if I’m going to continue watching.

Perpetuation of the species: Having been involved with a zoo for 10 years, I know a little about the Species Survival Plan. 50,000 humans is a pretty decent-sized gene-pool to work with. But they’re going to have to get on it, so to speak. There’s no time for people to develop actual relationships. They’re just going to have to knock ’em up. Soon.

Immediate survival needs: At one point, they ran out of ammunition and had to go get more. Um, hello? What might you need more than bullets? Maybe some food? Water? Even Serenity ran out of air once. It is science fiction. I am totally willing to suspend some reality to get these needs met. Anything short of Reavers sending fruit baskets works in my book. But they have to address it. Mention that you’re recycling pee or are farming water on a distant planet with two suns, but acknowledge the problem.

Perpetuation of Knowledge: They’re going to have to set up some kind of trade schools. They’re going to need people who can make clothes, build ship components, repair computers, and good Lord, they’re going to need doctors.

Government: They can’t have an Executive Officer and a President and leave it at that. Recipe for disaster. Although continual clashes between the two might make for riveting television, it makes no actual sense to have no backup plan.

Get rid of the bowl cut: The kid can stay, but do him a favor and give him a real haircut. It was bizarre in 1978, and it’s completely unacceptable now. If that is how they treat their kids, they don’t deserve to survive.

Will I watch again? Yes. Conditionally. The only episode on Season 1/Disc 1 is the miniseries. I’ll get on the list for disc 2 and see what happens.

What other recommendations do you have? I’d prefer shows that are clean with minimal use of potty-mouth if possible.

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14 thoughts on “Geek Week

  1. It makes me happy that you loved Firefly. You know it’s my very favourite show, and we’ll have a marathon over a few days every few months. It doesn’t matter that we know what’s coming, it’s just _that_ good.

    As far as Buffy goes…stick it out. Season 1 is full of blahdy blah, but it really does get better. Seasons 5 and 6 were the best (in my opinion), but there are highlights throughout the rest of it. Once you get to the end of season 3, you’ll have to pick up season 1 of Angel, and watch that at the same time as season 4 of Buffy. Then you can do what we did when they originally aired and watch Buffy followed by Angel! It’s kind of neat doing it that way, because sometimes the themes carryover. 🙂

    BSG: Meh. I never really got into it. Most of my friends are terribly affronted by this, but I just couldn’t make myself like it.

    Since I know you love Arrested Development, I think you should see if your library has Parks & Recreation. It’s the best show currently on TV, and they just started season 4.

    I had more that I was going to say, but now I can’t remember.

  2. All of these series are on Netflix, so we have seen them all. Love, love, love Buffy. It only gets better from here. Season 5 kind of bogs down, in my opinion but it’s still great. The spinoff series, Angel, is good too but doesn’t have quite the same zing as Buffy. Firefly/Serenity…I liked well enough. Hubby was really into it and watched it some when I wasn’t around so I missed some of the story lines. Battelstar Galactica, he loved. Me, I couldn’t really get into it.
    As for others shows, you could try X-Files or Quantum Leap. Old school but good. My favs right now are Bones and Big Bang Theory, although I don’t know if they technically count as geek shows but they are close enough for me.

    • Because of my work schedule, I missed Dollhouse when it was on and just started it a week ago. I’m on the tenth episode. The first five or six are pretty meh. Some are downright bad. I read that Fox messed with the scripts, so maybe that’s partially to blame – I think it’s Eliza Dushku’s fault, though. She’s a pretty terrible actress and the show ends up being good *in spite of* her, not because of her. I think with someone else in the lead, but with the same supporting cast, the show would have had a better chance.

  3. Love all the these new shows you have been watching, you little geek! I’m sorry you are just not into BSG. I was kind of obsessed with that one. It ends up having some interesting character development despite the fact it is a soap opera in space. Love it!

    As for Dollhouse, I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan, but NO. Not OK. No. N. O.

    If I had to recommend any regularly-scheduled programming (but also rentable) it would be Castle. (More Malcolm Reynolds!) Nathan Fillion is fantastic in this! We watch for his delivery. It is a police/crime show with a Nathan twist that I really can’t get enough of. And I usually loathe police/solve-the-crime programming.

  4. Ahh, I got such a chuckle out of this. Loving the Firefly/Serenity and can’t go past Buffy for a giggle .. but like you, the BSG just didn’t do it for me. I loved the original when I was a kid, but I don’t know how much of that love is coloured by nostalgia. A bit like watching The Dark Crystal now .. you end up wondering what you ever enjoyed about it.

    For all-out geek I’m holding my breath for the final series of Chuck, due to air here in about a week. Great series. Great fun.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I think the mad mums are pretty universal. Be careful out there 😉

  5. LOVED Firefly. So I tried another failed Whedon show, “Dollhouse.” (Thanks, Netflix!) Meh. Only saw the first couple of episodes, so maybe it gets better. But my big confession?

    I have never seen an entire episode of “Buffy.” I know. I, like you, was also pretty underwhelmed by “Galactica.” Not terrible, mind you: just didn’t get what the hype was about.

    Good blog, though. I’d tell you that to your face. Sure would.

  6. Keep watching Buffy. The first season is hit and miss, as are the first few episodes of season 2, but then it hits its stride and is just crazy good. As far as I’m concerned, the best overall seasons are 2 and 3, but there are some truly classic episodes spread throughout all of the seasons. Rent them all if you can.

    Might I also humbly recommend Mystery Science Theater 3000? It may not help with your geek cred, but it will certainly help raise your snark quotient.

  7. Love, love, love Firefly! I wept inside when I found out there was only one season, and a partial one at that. Another favorite: Stargate Atlantis. Fun cast (some fantastic acting by some), action/adventure, and great comedy thrown in too! Enjoy!

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