My Top Twenty Genre Shows of All Time

20. Red Dwarf: for the laughs.
19. Dollhouse: for the characters, for the loss, for the cynicism, for the pessimism, for the paranoia, for the desolation.
18. Farscape: for the characters, for the loss, for the story, for science as magic, for the laughs.
17. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: for the characters, for the loss.
16. Lost: for the characters, for the story, for the love.
15. Battlestar Galactica (2003): for the characters, for the story, for looking like you knew what you were doing.
14. Fringe: for science as magic.
13. The X-files: for the faith.
12. Carnivale: for the myth.
11. Millennium: for the faith.
10. Blake’s 7: for the pessimism.
9. Star Trek: The Next Generation/DS9/Voyager
8. Babylon 5: for the story.
7. Star Trek: Original Series: for the idealism.
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel: for the laughs, for the loss and for the fight, the cynicism and the faith.
5. Trigun: for the laughs and the consequences.
4. The Prisoner: for the paranoia.
3. Firefly: for the laughs, the love, and the cynicism.
2. The Twilight Zone: for the twist.
1. Doctor Who (predominantly the 2000 revival)/Torchwood: for science as magic, for the laughs, for longevity, for the twist, for the optimism, for the pessimism, for the desolation, for the cynicism, for the faith, for the paranoia, for the love, and for the consequences.
(Also, on a completely unrelated note: White people have deluded themselves into thinking Dave Matthews Band is amazing but Hootie & the Blowfish was a fad they went through, thus proving they can easily accept a White man leading a band made up of minorities, but the inverse is just silly. Somehow, this explains Avatar, Fern Gully, Dune, Dances with Wolves, Dangerous Minds, Tarzan, Pathfinder, Davis’ character on Treme, the reason White 60s protesters at Civil Rights protests are ironically annoying and superior, and the popularity of Rebirth Brass Band at Le Bon Temps among White college students. Good day.)


So, any of you out there that watch Buffy and read my ramblings may find me extremely thick for this, or you may be in my boat…

I only just realized, when someone else pointed it out on a message board, that at the end of “Chosen”, the series finale, when the sign falls into the crater…that was Spike knocking down the “Welcome to Sunnydale” sign for the last time. I got a chill that almost made me tear up when I realized it, and I should have caught that on the first watch.

That is all.

Manhandled Marketing

I also want to mention something else: It seems most of my favorite things that are doing badly, as well as many of the things I’ve loved in the past that bombed or what have you, did so because their marketing team advertised them as something completely different from what they were. Dollhouse is not a sexy show about hot chicks. It is Blade Runner meets Total Recall in the rain, fuck, and then find out they have the same father. Jennifer’s Body is not Megan Fox becomes a sexy succubus who steals boys’ hearts, literally, a-hyuck! It’s Mean Girls only the head bitch kills and eats the boys you like instead of fucking them. Here’s a list of things mishandled in their advertising campaigns:
Donnie Darko: This is all about the back of Donnie Darko‘s DVD case, the only thing I would have had to go on if it weren’t for word of mouth and the fact that it was on in the Tower Records where I bought it. And I quote: “In the tradition of STIR OF ECHOES and FINAL DESTINATION…This ‘excitingly original’ (Entertainment Weekly) nail-biter will keep you on the edge of your seat until the mind-bending climax.” Um…what?

Firefly: Many blame the show’s night. You can blame the episode order being fucked with. Not airing the original pilot until last. Not airing two of the best episodes. Really, I blame idiotic marketing plus network interference. You can decide the original pilot isn’t what you want to air, but come on — after you’ve already advertised said pilot? Everyone tunes in, expecting the scenes in the commercials you ran, and then thinks they missed an episode? I nearly vomited I was so upset at myself, then it turned out Fox are just a bunch of dicks that eat mouths for breakfast so they can shit assholes. No, I don’t know what that means, so don’t ask. They would also make a similar mistake later, with Joss’s Dollhouse. Why do they hate you, Joss?
Hudson Hawk: After the success of Die Hard, studios were looking to cash in on Bruce Willis’s action cred. Unfortunately, his most recent foray was more Moonlighting meets AWESOME. This did not stop the ad people from trying to trick us into thinking it was a new action movie with Bruce being snarky. But when you lie, all you get is a lot of bad word of mouth. We walk in expecting shoot ’em up, and get Charlie Chaplin. I mean, come on.{font-family:Arial;font-size:11px;padding:5px;width:470px;background:#585858;border-top:1px solid #777777;color:#ccc;} .syn a {color:#ccc;}

The Big Hit: Once again, Columbia/Tri-Star drops the ball, advertising a comedy that happens to have action in it as an action movie that happens to have comedy in it, trying to bank on John Woo’s name being attached to the film. Draw the wrong crowd in, get the wrong reaction. Christ, these people are amateur:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Movie: Joss has been the victim of badvertising since day one, although this is more a pre-marketing decision. Really, any of his projects in anyone else’s hands become broad, insensitive drivel. A bunch of Hollywood assholes with four available fingers and three real emotions in their range trying to tackle dry wit mixed with action and horror elements and feminist/humanist angles? Cripes, no wonder they can’t ever get them to say the lines right.
Jennifer’s Body: How Diablo Cody came up with the idea: I was just sitting at home in Minnesota — this was a couple years ago — thinking, “What would actually scare me, what would frighten me?” And all I could think of were girls. Teenage boys are pretty harmless. Teenage women are terrifying. They can be really frightening, really ruthless, and irrational and evil. It’s a territory that’s been mined before in Heathers and Mean Girls; this is certainly not a new idea, but I just wanted to take it to another level.” …But they advertise it like any of the other stupid teen horror flicks they have on the docket, and amp up the Megan Fox angle, as well as Diablo’s angle, but toning down the actual plot of the movie and aiming it at guys. Dumb, especially since girls make up 80% of the horror movie audience.

Zack & Miri Make a Porno: The main thing that got me into the theater when this movie came out wasn’t the title, wasn’t the premise, wasn’t Seth Rogen, and wasn’t Kevin Smith. It was that Kevin Smith was directing a movie starring Seth Rogen and it had this premise. Each of these things by themselves were starting to wear thin; I could have done with a break from them. All of it together meant a fresh new thing — and the thought of some of my favorite comedic teams working together got me all tingly in my girly parts. But here’s the trailer, let me know if you see anything missing:
Did you blink? Then you may have missed Kevin Smith‘s fucking name. Kevin Smith, one of like five celebrity independent filmmakers from the mid-nineties to now. Smith, who may not be a massive draw, but has a different audience from the Apatow movies. This was the time to crossover those audiences and make the biggest banking Smith film ever, while also excusing Rogen for doing a seventeenth movie that year, because hey, he couldn’t turn down doing a Kevin Smith role. By trying to pass this off as another Apatow-related Rogen picture with an incidental Randal-from-Clerks cameo, anyone who wasn’t keeping up with Smith wouldn’t even notice his name at the end. So now, you’re sitting in the theater saying, “Rogen again? Will these guys just slow down a sec? I mean I loved Virgin and Knocked Up, but that doesn’t mean I want them showing up at my house uninvited and drinking my beer. Oh, hey, good to see Randal getting a job. WTF is Kevin Smith doing? Did he commit seppuku after Jersey Girl or what?”

Dollhouse: Once again, Joss is screwed. Once again, by Fox. Once again, the pilot advertised for a month is not the pilot aired. AND they tried to make a show about identity, slavery, prostitution, Marxism, acting, and the human soul into a show about fast cars, hot chicks, and money. You know, basically proving that Fox Network is the evil Rossum Corporation from the very same show. They also were making Joss Whedon write these fast car hot chick scripts, which is like making Michael Bay and Frank Miller do a movie about a strong woman who is neither a whore nor pretty by Hollywood standards and wears concealing clothing. Heads are bound to explode.

Dollhouse S2

Dollhouse season 2 has been amazing, in keeping with the tradition of Joss shows (at least, those that get a second season). The first three episodes have raised the bar for exploring fucked-up human behavior, self-identity, and political corruption. Needless to say, it is not long for this world. I haven’t seen the DVR numbers, but its ratings took a nosedive on the second episode. Now, after the best episode of the season, we’re getting a week hiatus before the next episode. Not going to work out as well as if we weren’t having a break, but maybe we gained some viewership this week? Yeah, I’m pessimistic, as well.

I’m rewatching “Belle Chose”, last night’s episode, as I blog about it and write on the message board. I’m officially a fan after last night, instead of just a supporter. If Fox gets a whiff of that type of stuff, we won’t be getting the entire 13 episodes of this season. They’re not fans of fans. Watchers, supporters, viewers, sure. Fans — Fox hates them. After all, fans are geeks and Fox is the captain of the football team — its grades aren’t that spectacular, but look how hot its chicks are. It advertises everything like it’s a goddamn Michael Bay movie, even Fringe and Dollhouse. But the only things that are Michael Bay movies are Michael Bay movies.
Anyway, all I want is a full season 2. I want My “Epitaph Two” episode. For fuck’s sake, people, at least watch it on Hulu. TV is an over forty medium, now. Everyone else catches up, especially with Friday’s shows, whenever the fuck they want on Hulu or wherever. And you have to be over 50 and fit a certain personality profile to have a Nielsen Box. Those are the people deciding what everyone likes on TV. Just dedicate Hulu numbers, so that they get so insanely large it becomes worth the networks’ while to lend more credence to them.

I Blame You All

Pilot for Ron Moore’s (co-creator of the good BSG) Virtuality was more brilliant than I anticipated or, indeed, could have known from the two commercials Fox aired to “promote” the movie-style event that they graciously put into their Friday night slot, which is, of course, the slot with the most chance of getting viewed by the most amount of people. God I hate them.

Also, Lost has officially pre-blown my mind with its trailer for season 6 and all the con videos. WTF? Did they actually change time or are Damon and Carlton hardcore fucking with us leading into the last season? Gaaaaaah!

A Few Reactions to Some News

Those assholes finally did it. They’re getting me to watch Smallville again. Not only is Zod going to be showing up in the flesh, and played by an actor I love, Callum Blue (the English guy from Dead Like Me), but there’s a rumor that Tom Welling will finally be donning the goddamn suit next season, and they’ve been talking to Michael Rosenbaum’s agent, so we may in fact be getting Lex back as well. If they do all these things it means they think it’s the last season, but if they do all these things, who gives a shit? I might be in it for the long haul again. Fuckers.

I have got to start watching more Eureka. The show’s frikkin golden everytime I watch it. It’s one of those USA/Syfy level series (i.e. Monk, Psych, Burn Notice) that’s like a warm Winnie the Pooh blanket. Maybe it’s not that awesome for the freezing nights or the hot summer ones, but it’s perfect for a cool autumn evening when you’re curled up, enjoying a cocoa because you’ve got a chest cold. Comfort food.
WTF is Stargate doing? When I look at the new trailers for SG: Universe, I don’t know what to think. The cinematography is more kinetic, more epic, darker. The series itself seems more dangerous and realistic. All in all, it’s the first Stargate I’ve been truly interested in — but they’re just stealing a bunch of the Battlestar tropes and shoving them into a Stargate show. We know the show won’t be serialized that way, and even if they kill a bunch of people right off, it kind of has to stop there — they’ve got a limited number of cast members. In essence this will be old school SG cosplaying as Battlestar. I think I’ll be calling it BSG-1.
If Megan Fox keeps doing weird, low-budget horror movies now that she’s rode the corporate Bay train into stardom, I might end up liking her. Jennifer’s Body, which as far as I can tell from early previews is going to be awesome as long as you don’t have some weird, knee-jerk reaction to Diablo Cody dialogue. I actually am the exact opposite of that, and to be honest, we all know it belonged in this type of movie to begin with. Reitman directed it in a more indie hipster way and made Juno what it was, but Diablo was always trying to do the Kevin Smith/John Hughes thing. Then Jonah Hex, which is apparently a Spaghetti Western with monsters shot with the kinetic insanity of a Sam Raimi film. Fuck yeah! So, if this is Fox’s actual taste in films, and she keeps cursing in every fucking interview she does while also showing the proper amount of jaded when talking about Transformers, I will become a fan. Fuck you all for judging me.