Season Pass

Because of my recent Tivo adventures, I've had to re-enter my season passes twice. Since I wrote it down the second time, I figured I might as well post it, in the form of micro-reviews. "jwz uses and endorses television."

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Things I Unashamedly Enjoy:

  • Galactica -- some of the best science fiction ever on TV. It took a while for the initial miniseries to grab me, but the weeklies have been consistently great. I was worried that they were going to go to a very dumb place with the human-form Cylons, but they went to a really good place instead.
  • Carnivàle -- After Galactica, this is my favorite show at the moment. The first season was fun but somewhat incomprehensible, since it moved very slowly. The second season has picked up the pace a lot. Clancy Brown is what makes it; that guy is terrifying.

  • Lost -- It took me a while to "get" this show. From the first few episodes, I had a totally wrong idea of what the show was about. I thought it was about "how do you make fire, and what's that monster in the forest?" But then I finally figured out that it's actually about how all these people were unknowingly connected before they got there. And there's some crazy numerology thing going on, too.

  • Veronica Mars -- I just started watching this one recently. Usually I find high school dramas intolerable, but this one reminds me a little bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, except without monsters.

  • The West Wing -- This is my favorite fairy tale. I'm still catching up in re-runs, so I haven't seen the current season yet. I understand it's gotten worse. But the first N seasons are incredible.

  • The Daily Show -- The opening "news" segment is consistently brilliant. Stewart's interviews are often entertaining. I find the other third pretty unremarkable, especially the "ambush interviews", which are almost always a "Jackass" level of stupid.

  • Mythbusters -- These guys have the best job ever.

  • King of the Hill -- I got bored with The Simpsons more than decade ago, but I find KotH to still be funny on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes they phone it in (usually with the "Peggy does something insane" episodes) but usually it makes me laugh.

  • Drawn Together -- Oh man, I hope there's a second season. Vicious hilarity.

  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex -- I've only seen a few episodes of this so far, but it's been pretty awesome. It's a prequel to the first movie, I guess.

  • Justice League Unlimited -- These have been ok so far, but uneven. There have been some really good ones, and some total losers. I think I enjoyed it more when it was the core group, instead of the "sub-team of the week" show. Still, it's an adequate (but not-quite-as-good) follow-up to the previous cluster of Batman / Superman shows by the same folks.

  • Teen Titans -- Despite the goofy anime style, this is a pretty alright show.

  • The Dead Zone -- I was enjoying this, but I think it's gone. Did it get cancelled?

  • Dead Like Me -- Likewise, apparently gone. And I am sad. As this was a great show.

Things I Watch, But That Anger Me:

    (Don't ask me why I watch them. I know I should just stop.)

  • Stargate SG-1 -- I've loved this show for years, but this most recent season-and-a-half has kind of blown. I find the human-form replicators to be totally shark-jumping. It's the same error Star Trek made with the Borg Queen: both the Borg and the replicators were most interesting when they were an utterly alien intelligence. They both suck once you turn them into just another moustache-twirling Snidely Whiplash.
  • Stargate Atlantis -- This show started out at "suck" and has climbed the ladder up to "only barely tolerable". The "space vampires" are just plain dumb, dumb, dumb, and I don't give a shit about any of the characters. Also, I think they're totally fucking up the continuity of the Ancients' civilization: they can't seem to make up their minds whether they were a going concern for ten thousand years, or four million. SG-1 seemed to have a pretty slavish commitment to their continuity and backstory, so it's a drag to see Atlantis (apparently) making a mess of it all.

  • Enterprise -- Oh man, it's so bad. I can't wait to see just how appalling it gets (as promised).

  • 24 -- God, I hate this show. After throwing things at the screen for the entirety of the last season, I finally unsubscribed. But one night I was out of stuff to watch, and I got sucked back in again. I used to enjoy the La Femme Nikita series, and if you squint just right, this is like a stupider, shark-jumpier remake of that. At least they finally got rid of the Idiot Daughter.

Things I Don't Watch, But Feel Like Making Fun Of Anyway:

  • The Batman -- This is so fucking terrible. It's supposed year-two-ish, I guess, but they left out all the anger. This is probably the most pathetic characterization of Batman since "Superfriends." Oh, and Joker is some kind of prancing mute idiot with dreadlocks. Stay away.
  • Tru Calling -- I watched two episodes of this with low expectations, and they were met. Eliza Dushku ("Faith" from Buffy, least favorite character ever) plays someone who's super power appears to be "Groundhog Day". She is, surprisingly, slightly less irritating than she was on Buffy, but they made up for it by making the entire supporting cast even more irritating. I fast-forwarded through 80%+ of it, but still felt the hate.

  • CSI -- I've only seen two episodes of this. It appears to be about emotionless robots with magnifying vision who solve crimes by sending samples to the lab and then stone-facedly waiting for the humans to confess. It's fucking dreadful. One of the robots is played by one of the guys from To Live and Die in LA, so I keep expecting him to beat a prostitute to death or something, but he doesn't.

  • Deadwood -- People rave about this, but I haven't been able to sit through more than ten minutes of it. It's like watching paint dry. Dirty, foul-mouthed paint, but paint nonetheless.

  • Alias -- The most remarkable thing about this show is that it's even more monumentally stupid than "24". That should not even be possible.

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