ladyofjest: (star trek: kirk is awesome)
Day 22 - Favorite series finale

The problem I have with this question is that so many of my favorite series have not had actual series finales. Or, you know, they're still on the air (yay!). Also, of my favorite series, the ones that did have series finales tended to be incredibly underwhelming or downright awful (I see you over there, Lost).

All that said, I have go with Star Trek: The Next Generation. I remember watching it in real-time at 13, feeling sad and yet also satisfied with the send-off of my beloved Enterprise and her crew. At that time, I felt like the finale had done right by the show. (I haven't re-watched an appreciable run of the series in the past 16 years, so I don't know if I'd feel differently as an adult.)

Also, curmudgeonly Picard is totally awesome and, while I don't normally support barking at housekeepers, his grumbling about Darjeeling breakfast tea1 is classic.

In any case, the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale was a far cry better than The X-Files overdue close, Buffy the Vampire Slayers' poor stab at epic-level battles, Battlestar Galactica's teeth-grinding nonsense, Lost's contemptible malarkey, Angel the Series' cliffhanger, etc.

Quixote reflected long and hard, finally concluding that he had to go with The Prisoner. The first time he watched it, he felt like he had gone mad. He describes this experience thusly, "The first time I watched this, I had a 102 F fever, and it was in the middle of a hurricane. I thought that I had gone insane." He continues to describe the finale as a magnificent episode with the balls to continue being quintessential The Prisoner: never apologizing, never flinching, and reveling in itself as a great, big unraveling ball of WTF allegory.

Also, he adds, it had the absolutely fantastic spectacle of 6 slaughtering brightly-colored henchmen to the Beetle's "All You Need is Love."

And there you have it.

1. There's a bit of an amusing anecdote in my continued mis-remembering of Picard's interactions with the housekeeper re: Darjeeling vs. breakast tea.

30 Days of TV: The List )

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Day 18 - Favorite title sequence

I'm going to go with my gut instinct on this one:

Alas, that video doesn't show you the actual opening because I can't find it on YouTube. It does let you listen to the song, which is ridiculously catchy and is something I often burst out with randomly. I love how absurd and irrelevant the opening of Aqua Teen Hunger Force is... which, as Quixote says, is perfectly definitive of the show.

Good times. If you're unfamiliar with the show, you can watch episodes (including the title sequence!) online at Adult Swim.

Although the opening of ATHF is one of Quixote's runners-up, his leading favorite is The Outer Limits:

Except I am unable to embed it, so you must click here.

Quixote considered the title sequences for both Star Trek and The Prisoner, but eventually concluded: "Even though both Star Trek and The Prisoner have their own appeal and are incredibly strong (and Star Trek is completely iconic), neither was as creative as The Outer Limits. It's the earliest title sequence I remember that integrates the viewer into the show right away, and it was creepy as hell (especially before they shortened it)."

30 Days of TV: The List )

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Day 14 - Favorite male character

This was surprisingly not as difficult as I might have imagined. As I refected, I did come up with several candidates: Security Chief Michael Garibaldi, Ambassador G'kar, Number 6, Fox Mulder, Admiral William Adama, Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Dean Winchester, Castiel, Emerson Cod, Brock Samson, Abed, Captain Murphy, and so on. But, really, one male in particular occured to me that just left all the others as distant seconds.

The Doctor. He's brilliant; is there really anything else to say?

The illustration above is done by Paul Hanley, and you can see the original here. He's also done one with the Valeyard that I quite like.

Quixote agrees with me, but he's stipulated that two others must be mentioned as close runners-up:

Quixote's two other choices... )

30 Days of TV: The List )

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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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