TV that’s actually good… February 9, 2005 at 1:44 pm
Anyone that knows me, knows that I love Sci-Fi. Unfortunately, there haven’t been very many good sci-fi TV shows lately.. or at least ones that are allowed to continue… Firefly was great.. and Fox, the network that was founded on giving shows a chance to build an audience (X-Files and Simpsons just to name 2) killed it before it even got going. Heck, there’s very little _new_ TV that I watch at all.. I’m content most of the time to play back old Simpsons episodes or toss in a DVD instead of watching any of the crap that dominates the air these days. I mean sheesh… “reality” tv? Bah! Shows like “The OC?” Ewww…
On the sci-fi front, there’s Stargate SG-1/Atlantis, but I didn’t have Showtime when it started so I’m way off on the story and can’t just jump in. Will probably starting buying the DVD sets soon.
Babylon 5 was probably the last *really* good sci-fi show in a long time. Great writing, good acting (past season 1.. but most show’s season 1 has the actors getting used to the characters) and decent effects.
There’ve been the Star Trek shows of course.. but they’re just entertaining, not really great anymore. Though Enterprise has just started to ramp up… now that it’s been cancelled, of course.
Enter the new Battlestar Galactica… damn fine show. Sure, there are purists out there that just refuse to even give the show a chance, thinking the 70′s original is the One True BG(TM). There were similar nay-sayers back when Trek’s The Next Generation was getting started too. Hell, I grew up on the 70′s BG, even bought the DVD set with the box shaped like a Cylon head… but that’s due more to nostalgia and the kitsch factor more then anything else. Of course, the original had 2 strikes against it… far less technology for effects, and low budgets. But I remember getting tired of the constant reuse of the same few effects sequences.. and I was but a little pup then.
Even though some just hate it, I’ve been totally sucked into the new series. The mini-series was great, and so far, the writing has been excellent as the first season has taken off. I looked at the imdb entry for Ron Moore who is the main person responsible for developing the new series.. and I can see why I like the writing. The list of episodes he wrote for ST:DS9, the ST movies.. and even ST:Voyager are practically a perfect match for my favorite episodes of those series. I still haven’t seen concrete info on the net that the show’s been renewed for a 2nd season.. but unless there are cost issues, they’d be stupid not to do it. The show is the top (or #2 just behind Stargate) in ratings for SciFi in both the US and UK. Even with all the people in the US that downloaded the eps off the net since they aired in the UK first.
I just hope the writing stays solid. The first series episode, 33, was just phenominal if you ask me. They’ve kept enough of the original universe intact, but made some changes, all of which, I think work pretty well. Of course the effects are about a thousand times better too.
Here’s to seeing how they play out the story if they’re given a few seasons vs the short run the original had back in the 70′s.
Oh, and for a non-sci-fi show.. I’ve actually gotten pretty hooked on House MD. Another Fox show. Sure, it’s another medical drama, but I think the stories are more interesting there where we get to follow them trying to figure out what’s wrong with a single (or small group of) patient(s) instead of the show being a soap opera about the characters with some medical bits woven in.
*Update:* Sweet.. and it’s official, SciFi has for a 2nd season. No mention of air dates yet.
*Update 2:* Oops.. I forgot to mention MI-5 (spooks to the Brits). Excellent show from the BBC. Airs on A&E here in the US. Some really riviting episodes on that show. Interesting that it’s a full hour in the UK, but edited to 45 minutes for air here. Which means if you buy the DVDs later (I’ve already got seasons 1 and 2) you get to see the rest as well, which makes it almost new.