Category Archives: TV
In which Liz tells Frank about TV episodes or entire shows he’s missed.
I should probably back up a little.
Whenever I’ve fallen deeply for a show, Frank, I’ve often been compelled to track down other media featuring the actors in question. It is why I have seen no shortage of very strange British dramas featuring Doctor Who cast members, the David Duchovny “comedy” Evolution, and at least one episode of the show Eureka, because of the lady who did the voice for Elisa Maza on Gargoyles.
Still, it’s always really weird, isn’t it? I mean, we accept no shortage of movie stars in no shortage of various roles, but when you closely identify an actor with a part — there is no getting around it. Especially when said actor has a history of investigating serial killers! So that’s why, for the duration of this post, I will be referring to Gillian Anderson as Scully. Sorry, girl. Blonde hair or not, The X-Files is forever.
You want it, baby? You got it.
That’s right, it’s a semi-comprehensive, totally subjective guide to 21 television shows of the past two decades, filled with recommendations as to which episodes to skip and which episodes to watch!
What new shows get covered? Oh, how about Alias, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer AND Angel, Dollhouse, Friday Night Lights, Fringe, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, New Girl, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The West Wing and The X-Files? How about THAT.
Plus, there are a few other surprises — like the Doctor Who guide getting updated through 2013! It’s a good time, especially thanks to Whitney Bishop and Andreanna Ditton’s Star Trek: Voyager and Farscape entries, and a foreword written by Farscape executive producer Richard Manning! Ricky helped make Star Trek, Frank!
The Skip It/Watch It Guides are now available exclusively on Amazon for $3.99. I very much hope you enjoy.
At this moment, I currently have at least a half-dozen articles saved to Instapaper about the Breaking Bad series finale. Maybe more. Breaking Bad is a fascinating show on a number of levels, but one of those levels I appreciate most is the way in which it holds up under INTENSE scrutiny; the AMC drama is arguably one of the most-discussed shows ever online, and an event like this Sunday’s series finale has created a relative storm of critical analysis and debate.
So honestly, Frank, I feel a little silly writing this, especially as this post will go live over 24 hours after its last episode aired — an eternity, in Internet time. What could I possibly say about Breaking Bad that hasn’t already been said by the unwashed blogging masses? I am genuinely not sure.
I guess I could tell you what actually happens in the damn show. I guess I could do that.
Breaking Bad, Frank, is the story of a man named Walter White, who we meet on his 50th birthday. Life sucks for Walt! Read the rest of this entry
And, after seven long seasons, it’s time for erstwhile “Voyager” chronicler Whitney Bishop to bring us home. Take it away, Whitney! –Liz
Geena Davis: “We just heard a fascinating and disturbing study, where they looked at the ratio of men and women in groups. And they found that if there’s 17 percent women, the men in the group think it’s 50-50. And if there’s 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men.”
Here, at the dawning of this last season of Voyager, I’ve got a theory for why, by the end, pretty much damn near every guest actor on the show is male — unless, of course, the character has to be a sex object, seduce someone, and/or give birth to someone, in which case that role can be filled by a lady — and that theory is basically summed up by that quote up there. The ratio hasn’t been great throughout the rest of the show, but by the end it’s just ridiculous. I think that the more time Janeway, Seven, and B’Elanna get, the more the show feels its gender quota has been filled and just defaults to male secondary characters.
I honestly think the lack of adult female roles has a lot to do with male perceptions of how women take up space. By the seventh season, Janeway still has the helm, Seven is an object of interest for many of the plots now, and B’Elanna’s pregnancy has pushed her back to frequent consideration where she once was absent from episodes entirely. Three women doing things is like having a show entirely about women, and therefore there’s no need to ensure gender diversity elsewhere.
To be clear, I’m not accusing anyone of malice or deliberate misogyny. But seeing seventeen percent and thinking it’s the same as half is just another indication of the failure of imagination that never let Voyager boldly go quite the way it should have. The show started out touting its female-led crew, but wound up not only struggling under its inability to keep up its initial promises of being Feminist Trek, but actually backsliding. That’s sort of sad.
And now, for Season 7… Read the rest of this entry
I am writing this the Monday after the Emmys, which the Internet, in proud Internet tradition, declared to be the absolute worst. I mean, it wasn’t great and SERIOUSLY YOU GIVE BEST ACTOR TO JEFF DANIELS OVER CRANSTON WHAT THE FUCK YOU THINKING GUYS, but at this point complaining after an awards show has become a little rote.
However, some would argue that the greatest injustice of the Emmys this year did not occur Sunday night, but back in July, when a young lady named Tatiana Maslany was not nominated for Best Actress in a Drama.
People were very upset by this! Why, you ask? Well, Frank, good ol’ Tatiana stars in Orphan Black, a show about a girl who discovers that her family history is a little… complicated. Like, clone complicated.
And as a result, Tatiana ends up not just playing the main character of Sarah, but a variety of other young women who happen to look just like her — and she does it really well. Like, scary well. Like, Emmy-worthy well.
That was what I heard, anyway. I watched the pilot back when it first aired on BBC America a few months ago, but while it ended on a solid cliffhanger, I didn’t quite get into it, for whatever reason, and didn’t follow through until just recently. For the show has crazy-good buzz, so I figured it was one of those where you need to give it at least two or three episodes to rev up. And I was right!
So here’s the basic deal, Frank… Read the rest of this entry
The adventure continues thanks to the wonderful Whitney Bishop, who continues her quest through the Delta Quadrant with the cleanest refugees in Starfleet. Season 6 is here — we’re almost home, you guys! –Liz
Season six of Voyager really becomes the Seven Show. On the one hand, that’s great, because Jeri Ryan is still the most talented cast member and Seven of Nine has some of the most interesting character development still left. Also, up until the end, it strayed away from the disasters that are usually her romance plots and embraced her ability to do other things, like take care of special-needs children and wear less makeup.
On the other hand, though, focusing on her means leaving a lot of good characters by the wayside. Nothing of note has happened to Chakotay in a good long while, and while Harry, Neelix, and Tuvok are present in a lot of scenes (and get to lead the plot in about an episode each), they’re generally supporting the action, not carrying it. That’s just death on a show that’s supposed to be an ensemble cast. I read that this season was a slog for Robert Beltran, and I have no problem believing that, considering how he was in every episode of the show (as was Tim Russ), but I don’t actually remember his being in most of the ones this season.
I’m also just going to point out the fact that three of the four cast members the show forgets about are three of its four cast members of color, put that down, and back away slowly. (If you’re interested in detailed-yet-spoilery statistics, Adherents.com has a list of Species / Race / Gender / Ethnicity Breakdown Among Star Trek Cast Members, which was a good read.)
SEASON SIX Read the rest of this entry