Sunday, December 18, 2016

greatest sci fi shows of all time

1 - STAR TREK (1966-1969)
Any other choice would be illogical...and dispassionate.
2 - STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (1987-1994)
Lightning never strikes...thrice?
3 - FIREFLY (2002-2003)
Maybe they would have gradually run out of creative juice, and been merely good by the third season? One reaches for consolation as best one can.
4 - BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1978-1979)
Great characters, great drama, great visuals, great writing...you had us at frak.
5 - BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY (1979-1981)
Top five, despite a titanic (in the unfortunate sense) second season.
6 - STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE (2001-2005)
Does bakula not realize how superior this is to his other sci fi series? Do you?
7 - STARGATE: UNIVERSE (2009-2011)
Sharp, dark, and desolate. The franchise kept on getting better...yet progressively less successful.
8 - SPACE: 1999 (1975-1977)
It has it all...smarts, chemistry, and classic visuals. They overhauled season 2 (with hoary hollywoodization, in this case)...though not nearly so painfully as #s 4-5.
9 - STAR TREK: VOYAGER (1995-2001)
A little flaccid the first three seasons, but it soared the rest of the voyage home.
10 - LAND OF THE LOST (1974-1977)
Why did holly and cha-ka never get a spin-off?
11 - THE BIONIC WOMAN (1976-1978)
It outshines the parent show because of the humanist touches mandated by star lindsay wagner.
12 - CAPRICA (2009-2010)
After a snoozy start, it blisters with brains and brawn.
13 - STAR BLAZERS (1979-1984)
We're getting to the point where chemistry or charm overcome substance deficits...i could perhaps even be taken to task for padding the list, but this one's a guilty pleasure. Have they released the unexpurgated version yet?
14 - PLANET OF THE APES (1974)
Not brilliant...but charming as heck. The irrepressible roddy mcdowall joins ron harper, the only actor to appear twice on this list (and you thought it would be michael dorn).
15 - LOST IN SPACE (1965-1968)
Mindless, but masterful in premise, performance, and characterization. Couldn't we all use a robot who shouts "danger"? My romantic life would benefit tremendously.
16 - BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2004-2009)
Had it ended after two seasons, it would have placed higher than the classic. Plus, they never once say "felgercarb". I mean, that's just phasering yourself in the foot, right?
17 - STARGATE: ATLANTIS (2004-2009)
Great characters, great drama, great action, good writing...
18 - WONDER WOMAN (1975-1979)
NOT a sci fi show...but apparently the producers didn't get the memo. See episodes 10-11,24-25,35,43,50,51, and 56-57.

Caveat: this reviewer hasn't seen BLAKE'S 7, MAX HEADROOM, TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, SANCTUARY, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, DOLLHOUSE, LAND OF THE GIANTS, DARK ANGEL, THE CHAMPIONS, TORCHWOOD, THE PRISONER, any anime since 1984, or either OUTER LIMITS.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

funniest shows of all time

1 - MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS (1969-1974)
Is it possible to be the silliest AND smartest comedy ever? Is that even fair?
2 - WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (1988-2006, 2013-?)
The british version is superior, but the american is top-ten too. Anderson, proops, slattery, stiles, mochrie, carey, brady, tyler...
3 - POLICE SQUAD! (1982)
The ZAZzy mr. nielsen, surely the greatest comic lead ever.
4 - CHAPELLE'S SHOW (2003-2006)
Season 2, the funniest comedy season ever.
5 - DA ALI G SHOW (2000-2004)
Python intelligence plus smothers audacity equals the most animated laugh responses ever.
6 - MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (1988-1999)
It transcended its subject matter by tapping into the only sane response to this world...make fun of it 'til you drop. Joel is the gold standard during the host segments...but when the films roll, the mike years don't drop off one bit.
7 - THE DAILY SHOW WITH JOHN STEWART (1996-2015)
Transcendent wit meets unrelenting writing.
8 - SOAP (1977-1981)
The greatest comedy ensemble ever.
9 - AMERICA'S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS (1989-?)
Saget is the gold standard, and not just because he hosted drunk toward the end. But bergeron is bearable, and even fugelsang/fuentes were forgivable. The funniest clips never become finalists, but like another show, the points don't matter.
10 - M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
Even when they got serious, they found a higher standard of funny than any sitcom ever.
11 - THE MUPPET SHOW (1976-1981)
The only chef ever to outshine julia, plus the greatest peanut gallery of all time.
12 - THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JOHNNY CARSON (1962-1992)
He made pretenders out of all who came before. Or after.
13 - THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW (1967-1978)
Conway cracking up korman - a lightning strike of which we've never again seen the like.
14 - MATCH GAME (1973-1982)
Nelson. Reilly. Charles (for brevity's sake, i wanted to go with just those three words, but it would be irresponsible to not mention the gene/charles/brett/richard chemistry, which was the difference between brilliant and olympian).
15 - SEINFELD (1989-1998)
The greatest comedy co-leads ever.
16 - THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW (1992-1998)
Rather than be another johnny-come-lately (and having no chance of making this list), shandling took his insider's knowledge and seamlessly subverted the genre.
17 - THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR (1967-1970)
The most fearless comedy ever.
18 - SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (1975-?)
With apologies to mr. wheat and ignorant sluts, laugh for laugh, the greatest season was the crystal/guest/short/shearer one-off.
19 - ALL IN THE FAMILY (1971-1979)
Hear that toilet flush? That's the sound of sitcoms never being the same again.
20 - I LOVE LUCY (1951-1957)
The greatest television physical comedian ever.
21 - YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS (1950-1954)
"This is Your Story" - the first to ever hold the title "greatest sketch ever", and sixty years later still a contender.
22 - CPO SHARKEY (1976-1978)
Just kidding, you hockey pucks.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

bonobo tears

"The only people who are alone, are those who choose to be."
-dr. jane aloycius o'mccorkleschlatt

Dr. jane's point is that even at your loneliest moments, there is always SOMEBODY out there who would have you, and all our romantic "dry spells" (be they days or much more) are essentially self-imposed. We all play the game of love, leveraging ourselves to get the "best" lover we can, best being shorthand for highest status. A woman's beauty, a man's power...dr. jane contends that to never be alone, all you have to do is abandon the status game. I have found truth in this sentiment - at my loneliest times, i've been aware that were i to lower my standards, companionship was there for the having. In recent years, i've tried to rise above this game, aspiring to an ethos of caring for my all fellow humans unconditionally. If someone seeks my love, i want to ignore the number one question we're taught as children - "What's in it for ME?"
I can't call my experiment a resounding success...partly because the degradation in this society is so pervasive. We're so enmeshed in the paradigm of negotiated intimacy, that even when i've been able to step outside my standards, it's often ended badly. There are social contracts spoken and unspoken, and those who disregard them, even for idealistic reasons, can find themselves shunned. People don't like it when you ignore the rules.
My quest has also faltered because i've found it hard to renounce attractiveness. Part of that runs deeper than shallowness...even superficial attractions are tempered by ingrained inclinations (we may be drawn to red hair simply because someone with red hair was kind to us when we were a child). There is also a biochemical element, which is out of our hands. Those factors, however, tend to pale beside the shallowness which plagues our culture. In either case, to love someone freely and hope that they'll be equally non-possessive in return, is generally a fool's errand.
I've written about the women of whom i dream, when dreams are all there is. Here's the flip side...the women whom i suspect dream of me. Women who would, if they could (or more sadly, could if they would). I've been unloved for three years, yet i find myself more often than not falling through one crack or another in dr. jane's maxim. Or maybe i'm just full of shit?
JP = immersed in the jealous/possessive paradigm
IF = believes in an all-powerful, invisible friend
LSTD = likely STD
#1 (JP, IF) A work client who once texted me at 4AM that she loved me. Alcohol was probably involved, as she later walked her avowal back. I don't think she's had any loving intimacy in many years, since her fiance died. Another time, she showed up at my house drunk, and spoke admiringly of my muscles. Had she been sober, i would have invited her in. I later opened a romantic door for her, which she rebuffed. Our personality differences are preposterously profound, but if she asked me to hold her i'd probably do it.
#2 (JP, IF) A volunteer at the library, she's always sassy with me (i can be clueless with flirtations, but i'm pretty sure i make her knees knock). She paints her face, is perhaps ultra-conservative, and has perhaps hit the big 6-0. She resigned recently, and asked for my number. I gave it, and she hasn't called. She's not my type at all, but i like her. If she asked for some loving, i'd do my best.
#3 (IF, LSTD) An occasional girlfriend of my housemate, she and i share wonderful hugs...i suspect even mutually intoxicating. I'm sure she feels constrained by the "inappropriateness" of any romance with me. My housemate is pretty open-minded though, so even though she may also be JP, the only thing that would hold me back is that LSTD.
#4 A local vendor who is married. I desire her deeply, and don't doubt she feels the same. I once whispered to her that i don't even care for her products, i just buy them because i like her. She glowed. If she asked me to love her, i wouldn't hesitate. Even though i have no respect for the institution of marriage, it might still be perilous territory. I love her kids, i like her husband and don't want to "replace" him...how can any of this not be a good thing? How can our culture be so patently self-loathing?
#5 (JP, IF) A former neighbor and recent widow, whom i suspect hasn't had any physical intimacy in a decade or so. She once almost made a sexual come-on to me, and another time invited me to stay with her in another state, to do some work. She's 60 pounds overweight, and though we get along, i doubt we share any core values. I'm not attracted, and due to an adversarial relationship she has with a dear friend of mine, it would feel like a betrayal to love her. Yet how can i turn away? Her loneliness is palpable. If she got up the nerve to ask, my "love all" ethos might crack under the strain.
#6 (LSTD) An old acquaintance who has visited me a couple times this year. She has a raging alcohol addiction - it's surprising she's still alive. I'm not sure which is more profound, our physical or spiritual chemistry. They're both off the charts. Why has she stayed away, if she's nutty about me? Perhaps she and her wife of ten years have reconciled, and made another temporary peace with the wedge between them - the fact that my friend loves some dick once in a while. To love her (and try to heal my own irreparably broken needs), i might ignore her self-destructive instability...but that STD thing makes my head hurt, because i am done with the condom thing.
These are the people, and we all have them in our lives, whom we would never consider as lovers. But i can't believe that we're here to turn away those who turn to us. In rational terms, absolutely nothing good could come of my trying to offer the most basic human comfort to three of these women...and with the other three, the odds aren't good either.
Welcome to my world.
Welcome to our world.