Thursday, June 29, 2006

Coming up to reality

After my descent into talking jibberish on the last post, I thought I would come up to reality.

And what better way to talk about reality than to talk about TV?
Lost is by far my favorite show on TV right now. It has it all - action, intrigue, mystery, spirituality. It's sorta like Lord of the Flies without the kids, and without the flies. Oh, and with women.

While it is in the off-season right now, I look forward to watching it every week. Grade A TV, this one.

I suppose if I could be one character in the cast, I would choose to be Mr. Eko. Yeah, he's a fraud, a murderer, and he's black (all of things I'm not...I don't think), but he's also mystical, enigmatic, and in search of redemption for his past. Even though he seems crazy sometimes, he has clarity of focus. At the end of the season, though, it seems that he might be dead. I guess time will tell.

I also like Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Yeah, you can say it - I'm a dork. But really, it is pretty mindless and fun television. The charactes are funny, the situations are preposterous, and the humans always win with guns and grenades even though their enemies have force fields and beam weapons. I guess all that military spending during the cold war paid off after all.

It's not award-winning drama, but it is lighthearted and fun. It takes my mind off of things. Isn't that what TV should be all about?

Speaking of award-winning drama, the new Battlestar Galactica series rocks. You might think you're justified in calling me a double-dork for liking SG-1 AND Battlestar, but you would be wrong. Battlestar Galactica is the West Wing of sci-fi.

The acting is incredible, the special effects are realistic and totally believable, the situations are always credible, and the response of the characters to those situations always make sense. There is no solving the problem with fake technology in this series - the solution is always hard and gritty.

The only thing I don't like about this series is the religious overtones. While almost every character in the series adheres to some form of religion, the way in which the religion is practiced is either apathetic, or radical. I find the presentations of the two extremes to be too polar. Real religion is more subtle.

And last, but not least, is MI-5. This show is produced by the BBC, and is about the British version of the FBI. While the series starts out slow (it picks up after a few episodes) and is rather low budget, I think that it ulitmately satisfies.

The characters are mostly believable, terrorists are caught via good spy work rather than through phone taps and imaging satellites, and the types of issues they address are real and relevant to the current political landscape.

Plus, they're British. Who doesn't like a British spy? The only thing I don't like is that the main character, Tom Quinn, and his boss, Harry Something-or-other, act like they have a case of either piles or heartburn, I can't tell which. But after watching a couple of episodes, you figure out why - the job is high stress. But c'mon, take a Tums (or a bran muffin), why don't you?

What shows do you like?


jada said...

Ben you and my husband could be great friends. His sister got him another sci-fi sort of series on DVD....will have to ask him what the title is. he loves it:)

The only show I really ever watched (or rather made time to watch) was Alias, but it is off the air now, so nothing at the moment. When I have time, I like to watch House Hunters, and some Food Network shows...pretty boring;)

Benjamin said...

Melissa and I were Alias fans since the first episode, though it had gotten silly the last two seasons. It was time to cancel the series.

I'm also a fan of woodworking and home improvement shows, but that sort of TV isn't exactly riveting. (or blogworthy)

Let me know what the name of that series. I'm always in the mood for more good TV.

Jessica said...

ugh! the scifi channel. ugh! spit! cough! hack! ugh again!

--from a child who was outnumbered by her father and brothers and was forced to watch all things scifi on the telly and on the big screen

Benjamin said...

^in Ben's snootiest tone^
I will have you know that Lost is a proud production of ABC - the same channel as Grey's Anatomy.

And MI-5 is aired in America on the A&E network, but is produced in England by the BBC. I, however, netflix the series.

As far as the other three shows, guilty as charged - though you might actually like Battlestar. I'm serious when I say it is the West Wing of Sci-fi. (Or maybe the ER of sci-fi, hard to tell.)

Christy said...

Although I haven't watched any of the shows you mentioned, Ben, I will not criticize you. I have been known to like movies and shows that other people think are weird, so I feel your pain. I have been intending to put MI-5 on my Netflix list, though, because I've heard it's good, plus it has the delicious Matthew McFadyen in it (did you notice him in the picture Jessica?).

Jessica said...

no, i did not. and, i realize that lost is an abc product. in fact, i started watching season one on dvd last summer. and, i must confess, it is a great show. but, after about three hours, i couldn't handle it anymore because there was no resolution. for me, it was like a never-ending movie and my nerves couldn't handle that there was no wrap-up. but, i do understand its fanbase right now.

i did realize when i wrote my comment, that not all were of sci-fi descent. it was only reserved for the one's that are.

nothing but love for you, ben!

Benjamin said...

You should definitely netflix MI-5, though be warned - the first 3 episodes won't have you coming back for more. But if you stick with it, they just keep getting better and better.

You crack me up. Not only are you an English teacher who doesn't like ol' Willie, you also don't like open-ended resolutions (a la Lost). How did that happen?

lorri said...

i don't like sci-fi. i would rather exercise than watch that stuff, and that is saying alot!!! i like Law and Order, SVU. good show. i also like related on the WB, which is a chick show so ben you probably haven't seen it. has anyone else?

Jessica said...

even though was relentless in poking fun at amy in college for her law and order addiction, i join her in it now. i've yet to watch a bad episode of any version of law and order, esp. svu. i also started watching related when it first came on this season, and i liked it. but, there was so much competing for my attention, something had to go, and sadly it was that show.

ben, i really am the anti-english teacher. i've been telling people that for years. my original goal, before seminary, was law school. maybe that's why i've got so much love for law and order episodes.

Stacy said...

i had never seen any of the law and orders till i went to mexico. it was one of the few shows that was shown in english with spanish subtitles (instead of being dubbed over in spanish.) and i must say i'm now a fan specifically of svu with ice-t and company. and since i just started watching, there's an episode on some channel every night and none are reruns to me.

i'm with lorri on the sci-fi thing. i would rather mop floors or dust my house than watch that channel...

lorri said...

gotta love ice-t.

Benjamin said...

If it makes anyone feel better, I don't watch the Sci-Fi Channel, either. I don't even have cable. But I DO have Netflix, and if I hear a show is good, I'll netflix it. I did that with 24, but hated it. I mean, how many ways can Jack Bauer defy death in one hour, much less 24?

I, too, am a fan of Law and Order, and SVU (don't like Criminal Intent). Not really a favorite, though. More like a nice standby when I'm bored.

Stacy said...

svu is not necessarily a favorite, just nice to have a show that's not all reruns to me in the summer. now as for my favorites, well that would be all fluff to you intellectuals but i love grey's anatomy, gilmore girls, one tree hill, house, desperate housewives, american idol, the bachelor...are you throwing up yet???

Amy said...

Stacy, you had NEVER seen ANY Law and Orders???????? I started watching the original in fifth grade!!!! And, Ben, Lost is my ABSOLUTE favorite! I am going through Summer withdrawals. John and I watched the very first one just because nothing else was on that night, we thought it was silly, and then we watched the next week, and then the next.......

And my Dad watches 4 hours straight on Monday nights of Stargate SG-1 on SciFi, we know not to call on Monday nights.