TV shows and movies Content

I'm watching too much TV these days, mostly because it's something to glance at while I'm knitting. The bulk of what I'm watching is classic film, but there are some TV shows I like a lot.


Due South

I love this show. It's a marvelous blend of poker-faced over-the-top humor, moving drama, and magical realism, and it has a wonderful handle on the tensions between Canada and the US. Nobody else could get away with naming a main character "Stanley Kowalski" or giving him a wife named Stella, or with naming a pet after a Canadian prime minister.


The X-Files

I have a bit of a love-hate thing going with this show. I'm still peeved with Fox for cracking down on all the fan-produced Web sites (they were doing free advertising for you! C'mon!), I quit watching in frustration in the middle of the fifth season when that stupid "The truth is out there" phrase was repeated the bazillionth time, and I skipped the movie. But then there was that "Triangle" episode, and the one that skewered planned communities, and and and...
  • The official X-Files site, sanctioned by Fox Television. Great-looking pages, a cohesive design, a comprehensive episode guide (with summaries, stills, and video and audio clips), character sketches, and more. I'm impressed; I'd be more so if Fox's lawyers had left the fan-made pages alone...
  • There's a lot of X-Files fan fiction on the net, and some of it's actually readable. Here's the biggest archive:
  • The Gillian Anderson Picture Gallery. The pictures in the printed media section are hotter than the sun, and the biography section includes a link to pictures of her in high school.
  • The Rutgers X-Files site, with links to lots more X-Files resources. This one used to be the definitive one, but it's been gathering dust for a while.



Star Trek

I was a major Star Trek geek during my high school and early college years. At one point, I could see about five seconds' worth of any episode from the original series and name the episode and tell you which season it was from. I even went to a few conventions and tried my hand at some painfully bad fan fiction that I think I've long since pitched. I sometimes worry about what I'd have been like if I'd had the Net when I was seventeen and thoroughly into fandom... I'm not much into ST in its current incarnations, though. I try to watch Voyager and just find myself cringing or yelling at the TV. As with The X-Files, the best fan pages seem to have disappeared. Grr.


Other science-fictiony stuff

I was also a big Doctor Who geek -- I could name not just the Doctors in order, but most of the companions as well. I'm probably committing some sort of heresy by admitting that my favorite Doctor was Peter Davison, with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker and Patrick Troughton all tied for a close second. I didn't like Colin Baker much, and haven't seen enough William Hartnell or Sylvester McCoy to make up my mind about them. I did meet Sylvester McCoy at a convention once, though, and liked him a lot. Somewhere I have a picture of me with him. The best Who sites I've found are the Doctor Who Chronology and The Zero Room.

The other science-fictiony phenomenon that influenced me was Star Wars, but I never got as geeky about it as I did about ST and Who. It came out when I was seven. I saw it in the theater, played with the action figures and the toy Millenium Falcon owned by the kid across the street, read the book, and so forth. The only action figure I owned myself was Greedo (I have no idea why it was that particular one.)


British comedy

I must confess that Monty Python was one of my biggest formative influences. We didn't get good reception for the one local station that showed the Flying Circus episodes when I was growing up, so I bought and traded a couple of the tapes and LPs and listened to them until they were worn out. I also went to great lengths to try to see some of the movies. I can still recite the (in)famous Parrot Sketch, most of the Bookshop Sketch, most of the Argument Clinic, and lots more. There's an appropriate Monty Python line for most any occasion, but you need to make sure you're in the company of other Python fans, or you're going to gather some very strange looks. The Pythons have set up a Web site at PythOnline.

I also adore The Young Ones, although I haven't seen very many of the episodes. It's surreal and vicious and hilarious. Here's a link for the episode guide. "Neil! Your bed's on fire!"


Etcetera

Here are some links to sites for other shows I've been known to enjoy.
  • Hamish Macbeth, a wonderful and charming show about a young policeman in the fictional town of Lochdubh in the Scottish Highlands. Lots of quirky characters and intriguing drama. Great sweaters, too.
  • The Avengers (the second series with Diana Rigg). Classy, stylish, surreal fun. Like a Bond film with Batman villains. Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes didn't even come close.
  • The Craggy Island Examiner. Father Ted is a surrealistic and hilarious Irish show about three weird priests who live on Craggy Island. There's also a Father Ted page at Channel 4 (Britain), which gives a good idea of the characters and premise.
  • The Duckman episode guide. "What the hell are YOU staring at?"
  • A home page for the Muppets. Jim Henson: you are sorely missed.
  • The Sledge Hammer! Arsenal. This show was hilarious.

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