• Category Archives Television
  • The 6 most amazing ships in Star trek (that aren’t the Enterprise)

    51 years ago, a “Wagon train to the stars” was launched, and no one – not even Gene Rodenberry himself, had any idea of the life it was going to take. 13 movies, five live action series (err, now it’s six), and even a cartoon….the franchise has certainly been a huge part of our culture. Star Trek has introduced us to characters we love, and even a few that we hate. Star Trek has introduced us to worlds and aliens we would have never met. And of course, the ships! What would Star Trek be without the ships? So many amazing ships too! There’s the Enterprise, the Enterprise A, the Enterprise D, the Enterprise E….ok ok. There are a lot more ships than the six versions of the Enterprise. And as Star Trek is about exploring strange new worlds, and new civilizations, what better way to celebrate than by exploring vessels we don’t know a whole lot about? I mean….we know a lot about the Enterprise D, we were there every week for 7 years! We even know a lot about Voyager and The Defiant. But there’s some ships that are just as interesting which we hardly know about. So…as we prepare to learn about the US Discovery, (and oh how stoked I am about the new series) let’s take a few minutes and….discover…. some of the amazing ships that made Star Trek awesome.

    1)The Borg Queen’s Cube (First Contact)…

    Efficient is one word. Egalitarian is another. The Borg Cube has very little in the way of aesthetics, but while it looks like something designed by Soviet Russia, it’s far from a boring ship. Firstly, the size of the ship. It’s huge! In the above picture, you can see the Enterprise E (the largest Enterprise) for scale. The Enterprise looks like it’s the size of a runabout compared to the cube! Borg Cubes are, of course, decentralized. The weaponry could be fired from pretty much any spot on the vessel. Any Borg from any station can do any task. And then of course there’s the fact that it contained a time traveling escape sphere! Seriously….who has one of those, save for the queen of the Borg? The Queen’s Cube, if it were not for the intervention of the Enterprise E, would have assimilated Earth. It’s the only ship to ever evoke the Klingon Death Chant (Perhaps today IS a good day to die) from Worf himself….while captaining the Defiant no less.

    Kelvan Multi-Generational Ship (Original Series)…

    Not much is known about these ships or even what they looked like, but what we do know is quite impressive. First launched in the 1960s, these ships traveled from the Andromeda Galaxy (hence the picture above). In a series full of interstellar travel, it’s hard to believe that intergalactic travel is almost a thing of fairy tales. To put it in perspective, a constitution class ship would take thousands of years to travel in between galaxies. The Kelvan ships can do it in 600. If we fast forward to about the year 4000, we might finally know more about these amazing ships. For now….we know they’re fast. We know they’re built to last for hundreds of years….and that’s just about it. But those facts alone are quite impressive.

    Species 8472’s ships (Voyager)…

    While not a specific ship, these ships are certainly some of the most impressive of the Star Trek universe. Organic technology alone might be impressive enough….but that’s just the start of this species’ amazing ships. The first time we are introduced to these ships, they’ve outright flattened a Borg Armada of 15 ships. What other species can say that? If not for the alliance with Voyager, these ships would have totaled the Borg Collective in six months time. How, you may ask? Their ships were not that big – they only carried one crew member. But these ships used the borg tactics of working in unison. When several ships came together, they could form a planet killer weapon which totally anilated anything in it’s destructive path. If there’s one thing you can take from species 8472 by the way….never piss off a xenophobic species that can wipe out the borg.

    The USS Valiant (Deep Space Nine)…

    While this ship is almost identical to the Defiant, the crew of the Valiant is what makes it so extraordinary. This ship, full of cadets and trapped behind enemy lines for months was able to survive long enough to complete it’s mission. While the captain’s huberis is what ultimately got most of the crew killed, it still must be noted that this was more than an ordinary crew. They knew what they had to do, despite being alone, despite being cut off from communications with rest of Starfleet. Red Sqad, we salute you. We can’t blame you for being inexperienced cadets.

    The Prometheus (Voyager)…

    This ship can separate into three….yes, three parts. Not even the Enterprise-D could do that! Each section of ship was a vessel that was more than adequately prepared to kick the Dominion back to the Gamma quadrant. In addition, it had regenerative shields as well as the same plating as the Defiant (and of course, the Valiant). Oh, did I mention it’s EMH could roam the entire ship without a mobile emitter? And did I mention this ship was the fastest in all of Starfleet? Seriously – it’s almost like they took the best parts from Voyager, the Defiant, and the Enterprise C and mixed them all together. If only they had shown more of the Prometheus….sigh.

    The Narada (Star Trek 2009)…

    This ship (along with Spok’s) pretty much split the Star Trek Universe into two timelines. But asides from that, this ship was essentially a weapon of mass destruction which was far more a match that any and all ships it encountered in the 23rd century. It had a primary assault of several missiles which could seperate into multiple projectiles. It had a drill (I mean, it was a mining ship) which was used to destroy the planet Vulcan!!! And it had a crew that was pissed off. More pissed off than species 8472, as their homeworld had been destroyed and they themselves were catapulted back in time. Yeah…..don’t mess with a shipload of pissed off Romulans. Just don’t.

  • 5 television finales that gets too much hate.

    There really is no easy way to end a series. You’re always going to have loose endings and dropped plotlines. The viewer will always wonder “but what happened next” – perhaps with a lingering feeling that the story isn’t finished yet. Some endings have gotten a lot of praise for how they handled things. MASH, Breaking Bad, even Newhart’s comedic ending. And then there are the endings that really make the fans mad. Some with good measure, sure – what the hell were they thinking with Rosanne? Still – some deserve a second viewing with an objective mind. Come, journey with me into a few of these “terrible endings.” Perhaps your point of view will change.

    Lost: The End (2010): I’ve written about this before: Lost was a series about life and death. Lost was not a puzzle to be solved, though there were puzzles certainly in the series. Lost was not about providing all the answers – yet so many fans wanted a perfect ending that spelled out every answer to every unanswered question. Maybe it’s not the fault of the viewer mind you; maybe it’s the fact that we’ve all been weaned on Chekov’s gun. I respect the concept of Checkov’s gun – it’s a solid concept that applies to most good fiction. Having said that, a literary theory is not a scientific theory. If a Literary theory does not fit with the overall piece of fiction, it can and should be thrown out with the compost. Lost was one of these instances where there were several “guns” in the room which were never used (or explained): Why was Walt special? Why was Desmond able to see Charlie’s future? Why were those specific numbers asigned to those specific people? The answer – happenstance. I’m digressing into things I’ve written before. The point is the theme of Lost was life and death. Of course it’s going to end in a scene where everyone is dead. Be it Jake, Kate, Hurley, Desmond, or even Jacob, all have to die. Some might die early and heroically, such as Jack. Some might die a long time afterwards, such as Hurley. But all died in their time. This was the final message of Lost, and this is why “The End” fit so well into the rest of the series.

    640px-Battlestar_Galactica_Last_SupperBattlestar Galactica: Daybreak (2009): Before we get too far into apologetics, I will agree it was kind of lame to find out the entire series happened what, 150,00 years ago? But this plays into the theme that echoed throughout the theme: All this has happened before, and all this will happen again. There was nothing special about this specific race of humans. They died to give birth to us. Maybe we’ll die to give birth to the next race of humans in a few million years, maybe we won’t – but these humans did. Regardless – it was a bold move. Bold moves such as this often cause dissent and contempt amongst viewers, true, but such bold moves can also give us a bit more subtext. In this case, the bold ending really made us think that maybe, just maybe, we’re not all that special. Maybe we’re just playing a game that’s been going on for eons upon eons. Or maybe we’re just special enough to break the mold. That’s the literal interpretation, sure. However, if you’ve watched the series, you know that you can’t just go on literal interpretations alone. Daybreak was a metaphor for the civilizations of the past, present, and future. Of the past – they’re gone; they were either too weak to avoid other civilizations, or they ended up destroying themselves. The Romans, the Ancient Egyptians, the Ancient Chinese, the Mayans – sure, they have decedents, but their civilizations are gone. The Future is not known – but the present; well – we’re in the present and for every technical marvel we produce, we also seem to produce something not so wonderful. Poverty, mass shootings, environmental catastrophes, wars, terrorism, politicians acting like children. If we don’t wake up – we (21st century America) will be a distant memory, destroyed by our own strength and technology. Just like the Romans, and the people in the 12 colonies of Kobol.

    Seinfeld: The Finale (1998): Yes, yes, they all ended up in jail – but is that really a bad thing? Four narcissistic people who really didn’t give two shakes about anyone but themselves got locked away. Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer have been treating other people like circus animals for years – as if other people had no value other than to amuse the four of them. This was, essentially, what they got locked away for too. They saw a guy they could have helped get robbed. They didn’t have to put themselves in danger, they could have just called for help. Instead, they just sat there, watching, laughing, and saying I’m glad that isn’t me. Annnnd then they get arrested and every single person they’ve treated like a circus animal for the last nine years got to testify against the four. This episode was so Karma for so much schadenfreude. Still, going beyond locking up four sociopaths before they did any physical harm was just the surface. The Finale sent a message to its audience. The Finale told us all not to take the series literally – it is NOT, repeat, NOT ok to treat people like Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer treat other people. You might notice a running theme in this article: that the ending episode has one last message, one final thing to say to its audience. This was Seinfeld’s: Treat people as though they’ll be a witness at your day in court.

    How I Met Your Mother: Last Forever 2014: I can already feel the hate from my readers for even suggesting that this episode has any redemption. It’s been almost two years, and people still act as though Last Forever was a slap in the face. Two things specifically anger people: a) Robin and Ted DO end up getting together after all is said and done, and b) the mother dies. And guess what – you should have seen both of these coming. With the latter, the series has always hinted that the mother was dead at the time of Ted’s epic story to his kids. Firstly. The series creators always stated that the destiny would always be the same, despite changes in course. The mother being dead wasn’t the only possible ending that could remain intact despite changes to the series, but it was a definite possibility. Secondly, in the episode “The Time Travelers,” the theoretical speech that Ted gives the mother says he wishes he had the extra 45 days between then and when he finally meets her. This implies that there is a finite amount of time the two had together. Sure, that’s true for all relationships – eventually someone dies. But in this case, Ted’s speech really does make us wonder – how much, or how little, time do these two have together? Thirdly, and finally – if Ted had really spent all this time (maybe two or three hours) telling his children this long story about how he and their mother actually met, wouldn’t she have interrupted at some point? If the mother had been Stella, we KNOW this would have happened (as this happened in Ted’s head). True, the mother could have been out for a few hours, but the vibe that this story gives is not one of telling a story about someone who could walk through the door at any minute – it’s one of someone who isn’t there. But, like Ted does so many times during the series, I digress. Let’s tackle the Robin and Ted thing. This will be shorter, I swear (Please imagine that being said in Bob Saget’s voice). The show began with a story about how Ted and Robin meet. Every time we think Ted is finally over Robin, something happens. Robin even, indirectly, causes Stella to leave Ted before their wedding. If it was not for Robin, Ted would have married Victoria after he bridenapped her from Klaus. And at the end of the series, we have a very sad Robin. We have one that no longer wants to hang with her ex-husband, a married couple that hardly has time for her, and the guy she probably should have hung out with. Tracey took Robin’s place in the group. At the end of the series, we have Robin who is sad and lonely, we have Ted who has his kids and the memories of his dead wife. Why not let these poor souls have a little bit of happiness? So you see (kids) – the two reasons that people really despise “Last Forever are pretty much moot points. You’re allowed to your opinions mind you, but the series ended in a logical and compassionate way. I recently watched the ending again, and I felt like I had just watched an independent romantic film – it made me giddy with joy. And the blue French horn? Perfect!

    Dexter: Remember the Monsters (2013): You’re probably going expecting me to say that this ending was perfect. You’re probably expecting me to say that Dexter faking his own death and fleeing to Oregon, Deb Dying, and Hannah and Harrison getting abandoned in Buenos Aries is the ending I wanted for this series. If you’re saying anything along those lines, you’re wrong. But not as wrong as the writers of this episode. Seriously, what were these idiots thinking? Even Micheal C. Hall – the guy that played Dexter and created the freaking series hated the ending. The lack of hope alone – just makes me mad! They spent so much time saying that maybe Dexter could actually get rid of his dark passenger and lead a normal life, only to say “nope! we lied about that, Dexter is screwed for life.” So, why did I include Dexter in this list? Well, this is more of a plea than anything. Maybe a bit of wishful thinking. They’re thinking about starting the series again – continuing the story. This is my official plea that if they do this, the entire last season ends up nothing but a dream. That at the end of the series, Dexter is happy, and mentally healthy – that Harrison gets a normal childhood – that Deb is well adjusted – and that well, you get my point. Seriously guys – let’s make this happen! Don’t let the bastards drag us (and Dexter) down!

  • Ten obituaries for shows canceled too early.

    We all have our list of TV shows we truly miss. There’s some that lasted a long time, but we kind of wish could last a bit longer. There’s also shows that only got a season or two before we took them out back and had them shot. Losing these shows can sometimes feel like a traumatic event – like a death of a close friend, or at least someone you liked to get a beer with from time to time. You truly miss them, and you wonder what might have been. We almost want to have a funeral for these shows, and write obituaries. So this is exactly what I’ve done with ten of these shows that I cherished during their runs. Some might surprise you, others, not so much. No, I do not have Firefly on this list (though it was considered), and yes, I do have shows that….well. You’ll find out.

    Here they are – ten obituaries for ten shows canceled too early.

    1) Freaks and Geeks / Undeclared – I lump these two shows together, because while they were two different shows with two different continuities, both shows were the same group of brilliant people and it can be argued these shows happen in the same universe. The same reason The Wonder Years was such a great show. These shows were about a group as they came of age. It was about their struggles, their triumphs, their love lives and their lack thereof. The shows were about humanity – about times changing both in the character’s lives, and the world around them. It was about high school / college age students learning the best they could the lessons their classes couldn’t teach them. I do have one question about Undeclared though – what kind of sadistic professor assigns Atlas Shrugged to a bunch of Freshmen? RIP Freaks and Geeks. RIP Undeclared. If you couldn’t relate, at least partly, to one of the characters in theses shows, I question your emotional state.

    2) Ringer – If there’s one rule about what shows to cancel, it’s this: Never cancel a show involving Sarah Michelle Geller. Never. Apparently, the WB/CW doesn;t abide by this commandment, because they’re also the one that canceled Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To be fair, maybe they only needed a couple more seasons – we’ll never know though. And the show left more loose ends than a badly tied knot. The last line uttered in the series – well, I won’t ruin it, but it’s not what you’re expecting. Ever. There was even a huge surge of fans, including a petition with 16,000 signatures – all demanding the show be UN-canceled. But in the end, the ratings spoke more the network execs more than the loud fans. I hope they’re fans of some shows that got canceled before their prime, because they deserve to be treated the same way. (middle finger pointed strait at them). RIP Ringer. Don’t let the bastards bring you down.

    3) Primeval – What the CBC did to Primeval may never be forgiven. New World sucked so badly, that (well, I really shouldn’t repeat myself). This is why I want at least two more seasons of Primeval proper produced by the BBC. Usually after the fifth season, the series tends to lag – but not Primeval. The series felt like it was nowhere near peaking. Maybe that’s why they stopped when they did – maybe they were afraid of the possibility that the show would become stale, I mean lightning can’t strike twice (ahem – Doctor Who anyone?). Eh, what can I say – British TV is weird. RIP Primeval. I said I wouldn’t repeat myself, but I do a hope T-rex rips apart the doppelgangers that replaced you.

    Let’s hope we hear these words…

    4) Futurama – Yes, yes, this series has been resurrected more times than Lazarus stuck in a time loop – but I want more. The show is funny, yes. The show is brilliant, yes. The show makes us love people we would not normally love (what about Zoidberg?). The show is just, quite frankly, the best 30 minute show produced in the last 20 years. Every summer I re-watch the entire series because, well, why wouldn’t I? Sure, I cry every time I get to Jurassic Bark, and sure, I cringe every time they show the Professor Au-natural, but the show just leaves me wanting more. I feel like even if they resurrect it again, I’ll still want more. RIP Futurama. I guess all good things must end. But maybe, just maybe, the ending could have been prolonged a little more.

    5) Victorious – Don’t watch this show, as you’re probably not going to like it. My target audience and the target audience of this show do not overlap much. And unless you watch it with your kids, you’re probably going to look creepy watching it. Having said that, I have to admit I kind of loved this show a little more than I should. The writing was pretty good, the jokes were pretty funny, and every so often they’d have a lot of fun (one episode is a shot by shot recreation of the Breakfast Club). The ratings were strong too. And yet for some reason it was canceled. There was some rumors going around that they canceled it because they only allowed Nickelodeon shows to go four seasons usually – but come on. That’s a bunch of crap and everyone knows it. They canceled it because they wanted to do the terrible spin off which I shall not even name here. To add salt to the wound, if they hadn’t canceled this series, maybe, just maybe, a certain annoying pop star wouldn’t be all over the media now. She was in the series, but only as a supporting role. She was also a star of the spin off….Yes, I blame the cancellation of this series for the evil, doughnut hating queen of sheer slutty stupidity…well, I think you can figure out the whore’s name. RIP Victorious. Your death gave birth to a new breed of pure terror, heard on every pop radio station in the nation. Your resurrection might be the only weapon we have against her.

    6) Stargate Atlantis – This show just ended awkwardly. The Wraith were still out there, and they might even know the location of Earth. There’s still millions (maybe even Billions) of humans in the Pegasus galaxy waiting the be culled, and Atlantis just kind of sat there, bobbing away in the San Francisco Bay. Come on people! There’s so much more to the story here. At least give us a movie! We deserve that! We need some freaking closure on this sucker. Even Firefly got Serenity! RIP Stargate Atlantis. I do hope the wraith make our ultimate culling as quick and painless as possible, though they are the wraith – so they probably won’t. Yikes.

    7) Stargate Universe – And this one….this one is just as bad! At least the crew of Atlantis got to go home – but not the crew of Destiny. Nope….they’re doomed to never know the true mission of the ship, doomed to never explore the rest of the massive spacecraft, doomed to never go home, and doomed to – you get the idea. Stupid Canadians – they probably canceled this show so they could focus on Primeval: New World. RIP Stargate Universe. I hope you someday finish your mission – I hope you find what you’re looking for.

    It’s like Jurassic Park meets the Flintstones. Well, maybe not…but it was good!

    8) Terra Nova – I pretty much stopped watching FOX after the canceled this series. Sorry, buh-bye, no more. OK, ok, I still watch Fox on Sunday nights, but that’s different man, I gotta have my Simpsons! But back to Terra Nova. It was a fun show at first. Kind of light, had the appeal of Jurassic park, only there’s like an entire colony instead of just a few tourists – and nowhere to escape. But then you started getting good. Then you started showing the real reason Terra Nova existed – the politics, and those that didn’t believe in the cause and what that meant to the citizens of Terra Nova. RIP Terra Nova. You escaped into the past of a parallel universe, looking for a new home. I hope you find that new home in the future of another network.

    9) Selfie – This show looked really dumb – and perhaps that was its downfall. To be fair, it was indeed very dumb at times – but when it stopped trying to appease the masses and started finding its voice, it because a brilliant commentary on post-modern America and the age of social media. It described a woman who was a slave to her technology, how her Facebook and twitter and Instagram and Tinder lives ruled her real life. One wonders how many people like her our society fosters. Note: I’m sharing this on a blog which most of you will find through social media. So yeah, no wonder this show got canceled. Americans don’t feel comfortable with introspection. RIP Selfie. You may have been shallow at times, but you really did know what punches to throw.

    10) The Crazy Ones – This is going to hit us all in the feels, but if this show hadn’t been canceled, we might still have Robin Williams with us. I’m not an expert on the subject, but a quick google search shows that Robin viewed the cancellation of the show as a personal failure, and that his depression which lead to his suicide started with this event. It makes me wish I had a time machine. I seriously loved the show, and looked forward to it almost every week. It really made me happy. Maybe if I could travel back in time and somehow tell him how much I adored it….maybe we’d have Robin with us still. RIP The Crazy Ones, and RIP Robin Williams. You were too good for your critics and you are severly missed. And again – there’s the whole don’t cancel a show if Sarah Michelle Geller is involved!!!

    Seriously – why would they cancel this?

  • Show me that smile again….Or, whatever happened to the TV theme song

    tapesThe 80s and 90s were a golden age of music…we had New Wave, alternative, pre-alternative, punk, and a million other amazing genres. Even the theme songs from sitcoms knew where it was at. We had such classics as Family Ties (what would we do baby, without us?), The Facts of Life (You take the Good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have), Perfect Strangers, Who’s the Boss, Silver Spoons, Full House, Friends, The Wonder Years…I could literally fill this entire article up with examples of memorable, and quite frankly, amazing sitcom theme songs from 1980 through the year 1999. I can’t even fill a quarter of this article with good theme songs from 2000 through 2015. What the heck happened?

    whatchutalkinboutwillisMaybe I should back up and ask a different question: what makes a good sitcom theme? Let’s look at the following: The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, and The Flinstones – all theme songs I would bet most Americans know. Yes, yes, I realize those are all from a time-frame outside of the periods I’m talking about, but I’m viewing these three as a control – as a canon in which to judge all other sitcom theme songs. As I stated before, most Americans (and I’m guessing many people in many other cultures) could recite or sing the lyrics to all three of these by heart. This is one measure of a good theme song – it’s memorability. They are catchy and they are something one might catch oneself singing, or at least humming in the shower. A second criteria – these songs tell what the show is about. For example, The Brady Bunch tells us about the merging of the two families into one; Gilligan’s Island tells the tale of how the castaways got to the deserted island they’re stranded on. The Flinstones theme tells of the prehistoric family, and even invites the audience to watch their zany adventures as they live their lives.

    The third, and most important thing in a sitcom theme is that it is something that becomes part of the culture. The theme song becomes something more than just a song which tells us a show is about to start – it becomes something we find ourselves singing when we’re drunk or in a silly mood or what have you. Granted, cultural relevancy is closely related to the fact that the theme song must be memorable. A song won’t become part of the culture if the song is not memorable, though that does not mean they are one and the same. A song must have culture relevancy. When I was a teen, I remember hearing a preacher trying to shame us because we could sing the theme song to the Flinstones easily but very few in that crowd could recite certain Bible Verses. That preacher did not understand, that while said Bible Verses are not necessarily part of the culture, the theme to the Flinstones is very much a part of the culture. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the theme from the Flintstones over a thousand times. Aside from maybe John 3:16, I’m not sure I can name one Bible Verse that I’ve heard recited as often. One does not walk down the street to hear Romans 3:23 being whistled by some random passerby-er, or Psalms 119 being played from a nearby television. They aren’t really part of the culture; they are part of certain subsets of the culture, but not the American culture at large. However, the theme from the Flinstones, the theme from the Brady Bunch, and the theme from Gilligan’s Island are indeed part of the American culture at large. That’s why we were able to recite them. That’s why youth groups sing Amazing grace to the tune of Gilligan’s Island, that’s why I heard someone singing the Brady Bunch on the bus just the other day (note: this might sound like anecdotal evidence – however in this case I think we can forgive the lack of scientific data). Granted, cultural relevancy is closely related to the first point I made, ie the fact that the theme song must be memorable. A song won’t become part of the culture if the song is not memorable, though that does not mean they are one and the same.

    To be fair, there are a few of theme songs that really don’t fit all these criteria, but are great nonetheless. Most of them, however, are instrumentals and do fit points one and three. The Theme from the Office is a classic example. However, even those are becoming few and fare between. I used the Office as an example, because it is the only sitcom in the semi-modern era I could think of. The others I thought of were Seinfeld (1989 – 1998), The Simpsons (while current, it began in 1989), and Night Court (1984 – 1992). To be fair, I did think of another which is indeed modern era: The Crazy Ones. The theme for the Crazy Ones made me very happy, and is very memorable to me – however, most people really didn’t like The Crazy Ones. Despite staring a beloved cast (we miss you Robin), the show, and by extension, the theme didn’t really become part of the culture.

    I'm no superman!
    I’m no superman!
    Going back to shows that meet all three criteria, I can only name two that fit the current criteria: Family Guy, which I don’t count because it started in the 90s, and The Big Bang Theory – which is a stretch for point number two. If we add in shows that have ended, but are still in the current era, I guess we can add Srubs. Sure, there are sitcoms that failed which might have tried (Selfie). There’s The Goldbergs, which hasn’t quite ascended into “part of the American culture at large,” (yet?). There’s probably a few cable shows that I’m missing (maybe on Disney or Nickelodeon), but again they might be part of a sub-culture, but not part of the culture in general. If I heard someone whistling the theme to say, ICarly (is that still on?), I wouldn’t recognize it. It’s time to face facts – the powerhouse of sitcom songs from the 80s and 90s seems to be a thing of the past.

    But why has this happened? What happened to the TV theme song? To be honest, I don’t know that the why even matters. What matters is we somehow storm the Bastille, or rather Hollywood, and demand they give us our freaking sitcom songs back! Now! No, no, no, we don’t want a clone of Charles in Charge or Silver Spoons or Who’s the Boss – those wouldn’t be culturally relevant. We want something fresh. You can even give us a song that wasn’t originally written for the show – I’ve mentioned the shows Friends, Scrubs, and the Wonder Years; those weren’t original songs – but they were culturally relevant, they were memorable, and they explained the general premise of the show. So please, production companies – for the sake of the culture! Of all mankind! Bring us a renaissance of sitcom theme songs! Just think about this, it’s free advertising. Every time I hear the theme from Friends, it makes me want to watch friends. Sure, the show is in syndication, but one day I won’t be able to pull it up on TBS or Nick at Night, and one of these days it won’t be on Netflix. That is the day I shell out a couple hundred bucks for the entire damned series. That is the day you get my money, all because I heard a stupid song.

    I leave you with this tribute to 80s sitcom theme songs…

  • Caesar commands you to laugh!

    Spend as much time on the Internet as I do, and you’ll notice that the planet has a bunch of bored people pretending they’re Caesar. They sit on their thrones stoically. They look down at their art and/or entertainment choices as though said choices were Gladiator matches. After they’re done with said A&E choices, these quasi-Roman emperors either give a thumbs up, or a thumbs down.

    The average internet commentator
    The average internet commentator

    Before I get too far into this metaphor, I will say that everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions. However, in the information age (do we still use that phrase?) our opinions, especially shared on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, et al, can make or break our A&E choices. Our friends and acquaintances who share similar tastes to ours, might very well base their choices on our opinions. More so, the professional critics – those who are paid to rip apart every inconsistency, every terrible acting job, and every joke have this power to make or break a piece of A&E. Again, I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but with great power comes great responsibility. If Augustus or Nero gives the Gladiator a thumbs down, that Gladiator is destroyed. If the critics hated say, The Office or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, those series ratings probably would have dropped and the networks would have canceled them before their time.

    Perhaps you’re saying big deal. Critics have the power of Caesar over movies, television etcetera. Big deal, some terribly made movie or a rushed and clichéd show get canceled because the critics are telling it as it is. This wouldn’t bother me so much, except I often wonder if said critics, both professional and amateur, are actually looking for an excuse to hate whatever they happen to be reviewing. If this is truly happening, this has to change. There is a time to be snarky, sure, but there’s a time to just be entertained already!

    Let’s look at a couple of movies the critics hated. On Rotten Tomatoes, Skyline earned a 15%; The Starvation Game got a 0%. I’ll admit, Skyline sucked. Skyline might very well be the worst movie I’ve ever seen, and is certainly the worst movie I’ve seen in the last five years. The Starving Games, however, was seriously funny. It might not have been the funniest movie I’ve seen even in the last two years, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and at the very least, it was better than Skyline! Skyline was painful to watch, while The Starving Games was, if you let yourself be entertained, very funny. While both movies were admittedly about making money first and foremost, one actually tried to make people happy for 70 minutes. One actually tried to make the world a little better. But Caesar was not entertained. Why? Because Caesar is a snob! Caesar wants absolute perfection or else the chopping block! Caesar will not allow him or herself to laugh at something so banal as a spoof.

    Take Joe Leydon’s (of Variety) review of The Starving games:
    “The Starving Games” might inspire punny put-downs like “malnourished script” or “unappetizing gags.” But, really, a movie as lame as this one doesn’t merit the expenditure of snark.”

    Caesar Leydon
    Caesar Leydon

    I don’t know what Leydon looks like, but by that comment alone, I’m going to assume he runs a comic book shop frequented by Bart Simpson. One wonders if he’s ever laughed in his life. One must wonder if he’s actually learned to laugh or even if he is even qualified to critique humor. I will point out that during Leydon’s review, he didn’t once mention WHY The Starving Games wasn’t funny – he just said it wasn’t funny. ALL HAIL THE WORD OF Caesar!

    Again, why does this matter? Because laughter is fun. Period. I realize there are those who are really serious, but there are also those of us really like to laugh and view laughter as an extremely important part of life. If I sit down and watch a comedy, I’m going to try my best to laugh. I do realize everyone has a different view of what humor might be, but I for one believe our standards for humor should be pretty low. Again, laughing is fun! Laughing makes life a little better. Laughing may even have medicinal value!

    So…what about those of us who are intelligent and educated? Are we not entitled to demand smarter comedy? I’m going to admit that I love smart comedy more than “low” comedy. I will even admit that sometimes I’m in the mood for comedy that’s of a higher standard than say, The Starvation Games. I’ve also learned that if I’m going to survive this world, I need to laugh at things which I would normally consider below my otherwise high standards. In fact, to NOT laugh at things makes my life a little more miserable. Say I write about how “stupid” a comedy is because the humor was a lower caliber than I would prefer. If people care about my opinion on the matter, I’m actually depriving people a bit of happiness! They’re passing up on said comedy because of my snark, and therefore my snark is denying them the chance to laugh. My snark, in this situation, makes the world a little worse. Sure, I get a bit of smug satisfaction for ripping apart someone’s jokes, but is that really worth the cost? Is my smug satisfaction going to bring joy to my readers?

    I’m not saying laugh at everything. We’ve all got our different filters of what is funny. Some things are totally offensive. Some things are gross. Some things probably shouldn’t be laughed about. Some jokes are stale, and some jokes just don’t work. Heck, sometimes snark in itself is funny! I will also recognize that lowering humor standards too far will spread stupidity – that’s not the results I’m after here and I encourage you to guard yourself from this very thing. But for the sake of humanity! Of all mankind! Try to keep an open mind when it comes to comedy. Your life will be richer and happier, and so will the lives of those around you.

  • Orphan Black, or how I forgave Canadian TV for Primeval: New World.

    orphan-black-season-2-poster81 If you’re not watching Orphan Black, you should! It’s probably one of the best shows on TV right now. I’ve watched every single episode thus far, and I can’t get enough! I think the last Canadian TV series I’ve enjoyed this much was You Can’t Do That on Television or Kids in the Hall. I mean, sure Lost girl And Continuum are decent –– sure I’m a little jealous that we don’t have Hockey Night in America –– but as far as shows originating in Canada, none of them have quite done it for me recently until I started watching Orphan Black. In fact, Orphan Black might, just might, be enough of a good show, that I might… just might… forgive Canadian TV for the debacle that is/was Primeval: New World.

    Ok, let me back up. If you’ve never seen the original BBC series, “Primeval,” maybe you should just stop reading this right now and watch it now. You done? Good. See what I mean? It’s just that good! I took a trip to the coast with seasons 1 and 2 in tow. I watched every episode. Seriously – the show was so good, there were days I stayed in my hotel room longer than I should. The beautiful Oregon Coast on the mighty Pacific Ocean was just a few blocks away, but I preferred to stay in and watch Primeval. When I got back from the coast, I thoroughly made sure to watch the seasons 3-5. I’ve got to wonder if this is how crack addicts feel! I just wanted more! More! More!

    And then the dark times came.

    Like a crack addict, I was going through some serious withdrawals after I finished season 5. I would check the web to see about a possible season 6 – and nothing. Nada, zilch, nein…you get the picture – I just wanted more, but there was no more to be had! I seriously considered flying to England, and holding up a sign outside of the BBC offices, “Will work for new episodes of Primeval.” Finally, after months of desperation and withdrawal, a light from the North….a spin off series, Primeval: New World. Oh sure – I had my reservations. I mean, part of what made Primeval proper so good were the amazing characters. There was Conner and Abbey and the will they or won’t they relationship. There was Professor Nick Cutter and his witticisms (I said it was beautiful; I didn’t say it was friendly), there was Jenny (no, not the one from Rilo Kiley) Lewis, who’s secrets I won’t reveal….the entire ensemble was just remarkable! So…could they repeat, could the replicate this amazing cast in Vancouver? Well….maybe. They got Conner to sail on over to the new world, and that was a good start!

    Mmm, nom nom nom.....tastes like the lawyer from Jurasic Park!
    Seriously T-Rex, take a bite.
    So the wait was on….I heard it was playing in Canada but not available in the states, no matter what shady streaming methods I tried. I had to be patient until it came on American TV or Hulu. I tried to get a hold of the DVDs, but to no avail. I remember during that time emailing a friend of mine in Canada saying that if New World sucked, I would personally vote for any candidate that favored war with Canada. Long story short, I voted for Mitt Romney. Just kidding…I don’t think Mitt favored war with Canada, and it was after the election anyways -but back to how much New World sucked. Conner only appeared in two episodes and the characters of New World really just lacked that same charisma we found in the original series. I didn’t expect a repeat of the Original characters, but I did expect some depth to the characters and I did expect to actually care whether or not the characters lived and died. Honestly, by the end of the third episode, I was kind of hoping a T-Rex would hop on through an anomaly and rip the entire bunch to shreds. I have a major rule with fiction – make me care about the characters. If I hate the characters, I’m 99% of the time going to hate the book, TV series, film, or what have you. So yeah – I hated the characters in New World. But also, the New World was darker, and more adult. It just wasn’t as fun as the original! The original felt like a roller coaster at times, sure, but at the end you had a lot of fun riding the damned thing. New world, on the other hand got you from point A to point B, yeah, but it felt more like riding a crowded train at rush hour. The only surprises were unwanted ones much akin to the guy who hasn’t bathed, shoving himself into the empty seat next to yours. Primeval: New World felt like a military and/or police drama that just happened to deal with dinosaurs and the like. The long and short of it – I hated Primeval: New World! I felt like Canadian TV took a very beloved series of mine and used it as toilet paper. I didn’t even bother watching the entire series. I think I stopped 8 episodes in, and I’m the type who always finishes a series, even if I hate the series.

    I’ve ranted on and on about how bad New World was, when this is supposed to be an article about how good Orphan Black is. Oh, but I did this on purpose. I wanted you to know how much disdain I have for New World – because I’m saying that the sins of Canadian TV’s Primeval: New World just might be forgiven with the series Orphan Black. In fact, the crack addict feeling I got while waiting for new episodes of Primeval is one and the same with the feeling I’m getting right this very moment as I wait for a new episode of Orphan Black. I want more….and I want it now! And I want a full 26 episode season….none of this ten episode thing we got with season one! I NEED MY FIX!

    So….dear Canadian TV people. You’ve got a really good thing going with Orphan Black. Don’t, for the love of all that is good and holy, mess this one up. We let you slide on Primeval: New World, so you kind of owe us already. Besides, you saw what we did to Iraq because of some fabled WMDS.
    Sincerely – your gun toting, war mongering neighbors to the south.babyorphan

  • If you don’t watch these Christmas shows, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!

    iinasnity wolfCHRISTMAS! FREAKING CHRISTMAS! And what good is Christmas without cool Christmas specials? So here’s some you should be watching. If you’re not watching them, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!

    1) A Christmas Story
    – Watch this. Watch it twice. Watch it three times! JUST FREAKING WATCH IT!!! Seriously – what is not to like about this movie? There are maybe five movies I can quote from memory, and this is one of them! You’ll shoot your eye out! So help me God he had yellow eyes!

    2) The Grinch that stole Christmas – No, no, no – not the one staring Jim Carrey – gosh! Are you even listening to me? Seriously! I mean, that one was ok – but by Golly Gee Whiz! WATCH THE ANIMATED VERSION THAT ACTUALLY QUOTES DR. SEUSS! Why? Because reasons! That’s why!!!

    3) Christmas Vacation – Of course this one would be on the list! I mean, seriously! I don’t have to explain why! YOU SHOULD KNOW WHY!!! Just watch it! And if you haven’t seen it, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!

    4) A Charlie Brown Christmas – Yes, of course this one is on the list. When I was a kid, I had a book and a record of it and every-time they rang a bell on the record you were supposed to turn the page. It never was a bad little tree!

    charlie_Linus5) Elf – THIS IS THE ONLY WILL FERREL MOVIE THAT MATTERS! Ok, maybe the Anchorman. And I may have enjoyed A Night at the Roxburry. And oh yeah, he’s got a lot of cool parts in other movies where he’s not the star, but other than that! WATCH ELF BECAUSE IT’S THE ONLY WILL FERREL MOVIE THAT MATTERS!!! SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES!!!

    6) Scooged – BILL MURRAY DID A CHRISTMAS MOVIE! That should be all you need to know! Because freaking Bill Murray is the bomb! In fact! I’m gonna watch it tonight!!! Bill Murray is a national hero!

    7) 8 Crazy Nights – Wait – what is this doing here, it’s not a Christmas movie! YES IT IS! JUST BECAUSE IT ALSO MENTIONS HANUKKAH!!!! Besides! Poopcicle! That’s a technical foul! NOW GIVE ME ALL YOUR PATCHES!!!


    Simpsons_Roasting9 A Muppet Christmas Carrol – HEY HEY, LIGHT THE LAMP, NOT THE RAT!!! I for one am sick of sticking to the Dickens version – I want puppets! Heck, they need to do a version of Oliver Twist with the muppets. And why stop there! Muppet Moby Dick! Muppet Atlas Shrugged! Muppet Scarlett Letter!

    10) Rudolph – BECAUSE RUDOLPH!!!

    11) Frosty – BECAUSE FROSTY!!!

    12) All the Doctor Who Christmas Specials
    – Seriously are you not paying attention! Doctor Who! BECAUSE FREAKING DOCTOR WHO!!!

    13) The Simpsons Christmas Special – This is THE FIRST episode of the Simpsons! Before this, the Simpsons were just a sketch on the Tracey Ullman show! Without this we wouldn’t have 25 hilarious years of the best family on TV!!!

    christmas-with-sctv-20051109041147414-00014) KISS saves Christmas – Why they stopped airing this every year, I’ll never know! But you should still watch it! Even if you can only find it in that episode of Family Guy, you should still watch it!!!

    15) It’s a wonderful life
    – Merry Christmas Movie House! I….wait! I don’t like this movie! I get bored by this movie! It’s only a classic because it fell into public domain! Why would you watch this c….Ladies and gentleman, due to being off his meds, Aaron J Edwards has been dismissed from the staff of aaronjedwards.com. Aaronjedwards.com would like to apologize for the ranting of Aaron J Edwards, and hopes that this article does not discourage you from further enjoying the diverse articles found on aaronjedwards.com. Furthermore, Aaronjedwards.com would like to acknowledge that all these Holiday specials are indeed special (including It’s a wonderful life), everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Please note – if you are not watching these, you are not doing anything wrong (although you just might be a scrooge).

    Happy holidays everyone!

  • Lost and Life

    Several weeks have passed since the Lost gave us it’s final farewell. Most fans of the series have formulated strong opinions of favor or disdain. Overall I have a favorable opinion of the last episode. One reason for my opinion is that the series finale did not pander to the audience by answering every unanswered question in the series. But while I see the unanswered questions as favorable, it is the very reason why many fans of the show were disappointed in the ending. This particular issue is probably the biggest hot button of the series finale. I’ve had many debates with a co-worker who keeps saying “when I read a book, I don’t want any loose ends at the end.” It is my argument, however, that this viewpoint totally misses the point of the finale! Of the entire series even! The questions left unanswered in Lost mimic not only life, but also religion.

    As a writer, I tend to hate the fact that every detail in a story has to mean something. Life is simply just not like that. Life is a chaotic spill of random events, which sometimes interlock, sometimes hold significant meaning, and sometimes mean absolutely nothing. Consider the following: You’re driving to work and you’re running late.  You look down and discover a mysterious rash on your arm. In real life, you might put some Cortizone on the rash, and think nothing of it. In a  work of fiction, this rash would probably have a meaning. This rash would later be revealed to be a deadly disease or a mark of greatness. Writer’s choose their details for a reason. Writers usually don’t insert random events just for the sake of inserting random events. Random events confuse people! But random events are all a part of life. Random events are in fact reality. Going back to Lost, the writers insert many random things that apparently have no meaning. Why were the numbers so prevalent and what do they mean? Why was Desmond able to see Charlie’s future? Why was Walt Special? Was it the island, or was it the smoke monster that healed John Locke’s legs? Why didn’t Kate grow any leg or armpit hair? OK, the last question was more about aesthetics and sex appeal, but the other questions will never be answered. They remain huge mysteries. Well, guess what? That’s life. We never find out what the rash on our arm is, and we don’t really care because the cream took it away. But Lost is a work of fiction, therefore it should wrap up into a tidy little package, shouldn’t it? Nope! Arguably, one of the key themes in Lost is life and death. What better way to emphasize this theme than to emulate something that happens in life? What better way to emulate life, than with random happenstances and unanswered questions?

    But the unanswered questions are not just about life. The unanswered questions go hand in hand with another prevalent theme in Lost: the theme of spirituality and religion. There’s a reason that mysticism is a synonym for spirituality, religion, and the like. Mysticism shares a root word with mystery and mythology. Mysticism indicates a sense of not knowing the whole story. And that is precisely the sense we get with Lost; we don’t know the whole story. We don’t know where the island came from, we don’t know what the island is capable of, and we don’t know why the island behaves the way it does. We know some things, just as in all myths we know the basic concepts. We know the island is a cork that keeps evil from flooding the Earth, just as we know in the book of Genesis that it was God who created the Earth. But just as we don’t exactly know how God created the Earth in Genesis, we don’t know why the island exists in the first place. We can speculate all we want to, but we are never going to have all the answers. This is the nature of religion; this is also why having some of the big questions remain unanswered works so well in Lost. These unanswered questions emulate mysticism, and thus adding to one of the major themes in Lost.

    I’ve been reading all kinds of comments online since Lost ended, indicating that JJ Abrams is a hack. Such comments state that JJ Abrums relied on MacGuffins; that he intentionally led the viewer on so the viewer would keep watching. Well, considering my stance on the intentional fallacy, I am not about to say that Abrums did anything of the sort intentionally. But even if Abrums was just being a jerk to the viewers, even if he was just trying to string us along for six years, in the case of Lost, it worked. In the case of Lost, MacGuffins served a purpose to illustrate it’s key points. Besides, said commentators also state that JJ Abrums does this in everything he touches. While that’s certainly an exaggeration (ahem, Star Trek had none), even if it were true, it doesn’t matter. If JJ Abrums did this in everything, then that would  cease to be a plot device used to hoodwink the audience, and start to be Abrum’s style and form.

  • Buffy vs Twilight in Buffy Season 8-8

    ©Jinx, Inc. Used without permission. Please don't sue me, Jinx! I love your t-shirts!!!!I’ll be honest: I cannot stand sparkly vampires. I have even considered buying a T-shirt depicting Buffy dusting Edward. I have even contemplated writing fan fiction along the same lines. But why should I write fan fiction, when Buffy goes toe to toe with the Twilight Vamps canonically? In the Buffy the Vampire: Season 8 graphic novels, we find an interesting subtext involving the evils of even the nicest and incompetent vampires. This evil, is not just limited to the Buffyverse: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 shows that even the sparkly vamps of the twilight universe are evil creatures, and should probably be disposed of, lest they win the hearts of the innocents.

    Let’s begin with issue 21: “Harmonic Divergence.” Harmony, the ditsy cheerleader turned Vampire Princess, is spotted in California drinking blood from the neck of an unnamed celebrity. Through a course of events, she gets her own reality show on MTV, and a worldwide interest in, and love for, vampires emerges. But Harmony as evil as ever, even more so. Not only does she heartlessly kills a slayer on live television, she also endorses a line of what is later revealed to be demon controlled toy vampires! Of course, after an attack by a would be slayer (who is slaughtered mercilessly), and after Buffy’s gang destroys the toys, Harmony plays the victim, and of course, the public fall for this. Hmmm, Vampires gaining immense popularity, to the point of immense fandom and said fans claiming said vampires are not evil. Quite an interesting resemblance to the fans of Twilight, as well as the other sparkly Vamps that have emerged because of the immense Twilight Vamps. Harmony appears nice enough, she’s not out to kill anyone – at least not publicly. But when the doors are closed, she’s just as bloodthirsty, heartless, and evil as ever. And perhaps, so are the Twilight Vamps. Perhaps.

    Or perhaps I’m jumping to conclusions. Perhaps the similarity of Harmony’s popularity and Twilight’s popularity is simply just a coincidence and not an allegory showing that all Vampires are evil creatures  (even though issue 21 came out a mere two months after the release of the first Twilight movies). Well, even if this IS a coincidence, there are other damning factors against Twilight in season 8. For one thing, the Big Bad of season 8 is named, (ahem) TWILIGHT! Yes, how coincidental is that? How is it that the head evil creature is actually named Twilight? There’s no denying the fact that Season 8 shows the evils of the Twilight, when the main villain is actually named TWILIGHT!!! That’s would be like if CS Lewis had named Aslan “Jesus.” That would be like if George Orwell had called the pigs in Animal Farm “Communists.” That would be like if Herman Melville named the Whale – well whatever the heck the whale means, that one’s still up for debate. But my point is simple: Word association is a powerful tool. Its pretty unimaginable that Joss Whedon would happen to overlook the fact that his main villain in season 8 just happens to share the name of a series of books and movies which depicts good and caring vampires. When the name is different, any similarities, however blaring they might be, could be dismissed as merely coincidence. The very fact that the main villain is named “Twilight,” is a big blaring sign saying “HEY! LOOK! TWILIGHT! WE REALLY MEAN TWILIGHT!!!!”

    Oh, but wait! What about Angel? What about Spike? They’re both Vampires and they’re both good!Or are they? If I remember correctly, Spike only became “good” because he had a chip implanted in his head causing him not to kill humans. Despite anything he did after that, if it had not been for that chip, Spike would have gone on killing anyone and everyone he felt the urge to kill. Spike was pretty much tamed like a circus animal – take out his metaphorical teeth and he’s harmless. Ok, ok, Spike is evil, but what about Angel? Well, Angel just happens to be the best piece of evidence to my thesis. Angel was probably one of the most evil Vampires in the Buffyverse before his, for lack of a better word, anti-curse. And after he slept with Buffy, he lost his soul and became evil once more. Angel is no (ahem) Angel; he’s a demon who is only good because people were so sick of his terror, that they decided to put a spell on him. But never mind that. an interesting fact was revealed about Angel recently. The writers of Buffy Season 8 has revealed that Angel, who has not previously been portrayed in season 8, has been in the background of Season 8 this entire time. Angel has been wearing a mask—the same mask that Twilight wears. Angel is Twilight! The kindest, most gentle, and dare I say Edward-like vampire in the Buffyverse turns out to be the Big Bad that’s trying to kill Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies! Case closed! Never mind the neon sign, we now have a blaring horn bleating out that even the sparkliest of vampires is evil and vile and will kill you if you give it a chance. And yes,I said  it! They are not people! They are evil THINGS that need to be disposed of properly and by all means necessary.

    Oh the path we weave when we decide evil is good, and good is evil. Oh the twisted, sick perversions, oh the death and destruction – but I digress. In all seriousness, I really don’t believe Vampires exist, despite my enthusiasm in this article. Vampires are a great literary device to describe all that is evil and dark in this world. A little Vlad the Impaler, a little Black Plague, a little dark magic, and voila! Dracula – one of the most formidable literary villains of all time – is born. But even Dracula has his good side, right? He helped Buffy and the Scoobies in Tokyo, right? Well, yes….but only because that served his best interest. Mark my words, in any other circumstance, Dracula meeting Buffy would have meant a reenactment of Season 5’s first episode – only this time the end might depict a role reversal – IE Dracula standing over Buffy’s grave. Every vamp is something to be weary of. Like I said, I don’t believe in vampires – but if I ever meet one – I’m running the other way as fast as I possibly can. And you should as well. Now. Don’t stop. Just freaking run already!