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Day 09 - Best scene ever

I feel like I should be prefacing each of these posts with the reminder that my answers are constrained by what I can remember when I sit down to do this meme. I do put a good measure of thought into each question, going down the lists of my favorite or important television shows, probing my memory for "best scene ever" examples, for example. But I don't have an eidetic memory, so I have to rely on whatever my mental net can pull out of the mess of my media memory at the present. I'm sure if I had longer to ponder the question, I'd come up with more or different answers; however, with an on-and-off 24-hour consideration here in the summer of 2010, this is what I came up with.

Also, I have chosen to interpret "best scene ever" as "coolest, most bad-ass (optionally hilarious) scene ever."

I think I'll go with a top 5.

Note: I've included links to these scenes where possible for those who want to relive them; if you haven't seen the episodes in the first place, however, I don't recommend watching them out of context!

5. Mal first demonstrates his unique brand of negotiating in Firefly.
This is one of those quintessential scenes from the second episode ("The Train Job") of Firefly that firmly demonstrates these protagonists are not entirely Good Guys. It also does so in a macabrely funny manner. It's part of what made Firefly such a strong and compelling show.

4. Buffy finds her inner core of strength in "Becoming: Part Two."
I couldn't find a decent clip of this one, sadly: in the season finale to the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, her vampire boyfriend Angel has lost his soul once more and become the terrifying Angelus. Naturally, Angelus has stalked Buffy and his game culminates in a good, brutal round of taunting battle. Since I can't find a clip, allow me to quote from Alexander Thompson's transcript of the episode:

Transcript here! )

3. Daleks vs. the Cybermen from New Who.
This is my optionally hilarious choice: in the season finale ("Doomsday") of the second season of the new Doctor Who, you have this extended scene of the Daleks and the Cybermen smack-talking each other. I was hysterical with laughter the first time I saw it, which helped some considering I was sobbing with heartbreak by the end of the episode.

2. Ambassador Delenn, Defender of Babylon 5
I love Big Damn Heroes: Delenn is the quintessential definition of one such in Babylon 5 and this is one scene by which that is incandescently apparent. The fierce temperance of her words and the way the Earth Alliance warships don't even hesitate before leaving always has me shouting "Fuck yeah, Sea King!" Or, you know, something like. The scene is from "Severed Dreams" (3.10).

And the most kick-ass scene?

1. Battlestar Galactica to the rescue on New Caprica.
If you plan on watching Battlestar Galactica, but you haven't seen through Season 3, don't read this! That said, this was one of the most amazing scenes in the show, even while being immersed in a bunch of sub-par aspects of the show fore and aft. When Adama dropped the Galactica into atmo in "Exodus: Part 2", I'm pretty sure I punched the air with amazed glee. Watching them launch the vipers and then do an FTL jump away sealed the deal: I was crowing that Adama had huge, titanium cajones.

Quixote says that he concurs with most of my choices.1 He adds that he considers the closing scene of "Time Enough at Last" from The Twilight Zone to be one of the most iconic scenes ever. He also wants to mention the closing scene of The Prisoner in "Fall Out" for its sheer WTF?! scene awesomeness.

1. I can specify that he's not including Buffy the Vampire Slayer in his echo.

30 Days of TV: The List )

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Day 08 - A show everyone should watch

I chose to interpret this question as "in the history of television of which you have experience, which show do you think everyone should watch?"

The Twilight Zone. This brilliant show spans 156 episodes in the original series - I still haven't seen them all, which I count as a bit of a blessing. Each Twilight Zone marathon sees me sitting down to enjoy old favorites and looking forward to those I haven't yet seen. While the show varied wildly in quality, it cannot be denied that it served as a playground for some of the most brilliant writers of science fiction. Further, it's a household name (even among people who've never watched any of it) and can serve to introduce non-genre fans to science fiction, fantasy, and horror... and perhaps lead them to checking out genre works. Anything that can fire the imagination and emotions the way The Twilight Zone has (for a few generations, now!) should be a must-watch. Not that I think everyone should be required to watch every episode - I still haven't done that, preferring the laid-back approach mentioned earlier. However, I think everyone should watch at least a few episodes.1

Quixote says: The Prisoner. Not only is the show genius beyond sheer entertainment value, but it is in many ways the progenitor of the entire modern television show. He considers it so catastrophically ahead of its time plot-wise that it wasn't understood when it first aired and not really emulated until Babylon 5 emulated it in the 90's. Now, most television shows at the very least have some type of over-arcing story even if they don't spend every episode focusing on it.

My husband gives an honorable mention to The Fugitive in that vein as well, because it similar plotting ideas even before The Prisoner even did, though it was The Prisoner that took it to the extreme with a definitive beginning, middle, and end. The Prisoner was the first time the plot was the point rather than the thing you had to get around to stay on the air for several years.

1. Preferably including "The Obsolete Man", "The Monsters are Due on Maple Street", and "Time Enough at Last" to name a few.

30 Days of TV: The List )

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