Lights Out

I AM GOING TO BE IN CALGARY THIS WEEKEND FOR CALGARY EXPO!!! Details HERE

Writing this at 3am when I should be leaving the house to catch a plane… nowish. Revolution officially went nanobotsbananapants. If you haven’t given up already, now’s a good time.

COMMENTERS: What’s the longest you ever stuck with a show that you hated, hoping that it would improve? For me it was Smallville, seasons 5-10. Or was it 6-10? Or was it 1-10?

Comments (36)

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Kirby's avatar

Kirby · 112 weeks ago

I can honestly like anything. Sit me in front of a TV show, movie, whatever, I’ll enjoy myself no matter how bad it tends to be. However, in Charmed I kind of have the reverse effect. I enjoy the show as a whole, but I really kinda don’t like Prue, and I can’t bring myself to just pick up the series after she leaves. So I’m forcing myself to wade through her episodes until I get through to the next part.

I decided to skip Revolution, just from the tweets it was getting on the premiere night. I also don’t tend to watch a lot of TV when it premieres, or anything like that. I don’t generally stop watching a TV show because I dislike it, I generally stop watching it because I stop catching it on TV, something else catches my interest and I stop for a bit with the intention of coming back, or I just stop watching TV for a while. If there’s a show I really like, I usually finish it/what’s available in one or two shots, then wait for more, or move on.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

I watched a few episodes of Charmed back when it was televised, with a “meh” reaction. Recently tried watching the first few episodes, but could not get past how much that “Power of 3” chanting grated on me. Charmed was written for teens and pre-teens. The magic powers on it is so simple, the kind of stuff I used to wish for and dream when I was a child, that I can’t stomach it now.
Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

Charmed was mostly just establishing shots of San Francisco (great drinking game, shots every time you see Golden Gate Bridge, everybody passes out during first episode). But the whole, crappy series served one single purpose for one single moment of awesome.

In the commentary for Buffy S7 ep7, “Conversations with Dead People” (the best! the creepiest!), Drew Goddard says they had so many problems trying to film the episode, that towards the end of the very long night he was laying on the floor crying “I don’t wanna do this anymore, just put on an episode of Charmed!”

I love that. Whenever I’m having a ridiculously hard time with something that’s too important to blow off, I work up a tear and say the same thing. Then I suck it up and make something awesome anyway.

Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

It’s not a show I hate, but it’s a guilty pleasure. Sometimes I can’t believe this monster of the week/yearly apocalypse show is still on. It’s the humor that keeps me watching.
****SPOILERS BELOW****

Dang, I really liked the Benny character and was hoping he was going to become a regular.

lou's avatar

lou · 112 weeks ago

I hear ya on Supernatural. Season 6 was hit-and-miss because the showrunners never expected to make it past the 1st 5 seasons they planned out, so they passed the head-writer duty to someone else, for Seasons 6 (meh) and 7 (bleh). Now it’s on Season 8 with someone else in charge and it’s much better now.
sandchigger's avatar

sandchigger · 112 weeks ago

I’m the one guy who watched the entire run of Cult hoping it would start to be not crappy.

2 replies · active 112 weeks ago

Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

You must have a strong constitution, the only thing I liked about Cult was Robert Knepper…he does intense and creepy so well.
sandchigger's avatar

sandchigger · 112 weeks ago

I kept thinking to myself that maybe it would all tie together in some brilliant, awesome fashion. I did like the idea that the real-cult was gaining members from the tv-cult because the real-cult was literally putting words into the mouth of the tv-cult’s leader.
I think I stuck with Heroes into the fourth season, or at least close to the end of the third. I think I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt that season 2 was crappy because of the writers’ strike. I was young and foolish then…

I never started watching Revolution because I couldn’t get over the mental hurdle that if electrons can no longer flow, you get some very serious side effects. Like, oh say, molecules no longer being able to hold together. Nanomagicbots at least addresses that problem, so kudos to them for that I guess?

malcolm's avatar

malcolm · 112 weeks ago

I’ve actually been enjoying revolution lately, I think its improved. I’m not talking about the “science”, let it be magic, I don’t care. I just like where the story is going.
I watched every episode of _Andromeda_.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

So did I. It was pretty good
I’ve done better. If there’s a series that’s starting that looks like it’s going to be awful, you just don’t watch it or any commercial for it ever. It really helps to keep the brain cells up and the hate-filled rants down. I guess the worst series I’ve ever actually watched was Smallville. But that was because there wasn’t anything better on (didn’t have cable or Netflix back then) which was very few and far between. Maybe I’ve seen like ten episodes in all? I’m not really sure…
jscg's avatar

jscg · 112 weeks ago

It took me five seaons to give up on Star Trek Voyager. Even though every episode from season 3 to (it seems) the end had the big red reset button denouement, I just kept watching.

Kind of like when my Grampa used to watch the Judy Garland variety show and complain about how bad it was every week. My Gram used to ask him why he kept watching if it was so bad, and his only answer was “She used to be so *good*!”

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

The irony is after season 3 they gave up on the “We’re totally going to get home! NO WE’RE NOT!” thing and just started focusing on the story while moving them a bit closer to home every few episodes. Towards the end they realized home was WAY too far away so every other episode it was like, “Good job crew. That little maneuver shaved 20 years off our trip!”
Faye's avatar

Faye · 112 weeks ago

Stargate SG-1 was never the same after season 5. But I kept watching. Season 10. The movies. Atlantis. Universe. (I actually kinda liked Universe in spite of the ‘younger and edgier’ dynamic, but then, Robert Carlyle.)

My only release from this is that there is no Stargate currently in production, as far as I am aware. If it came back, I would be there, like a moth to a flame, and with about as much self-preservation instinct.

So, to answer the question: How long? Forever. (Though I wouldn’t say I ever ‘hated’ it, I was just disappointed, is all. There were still good times to be had.)

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

SG-1 lost me after it left Showtime. Universe was fantastic and should never have been prefaced with the word “Stargate.” It specifically wasn’t for Stargate fans.
Faye's avatar

Faye · 111 weeks ago

Agreed. I did enjoy Universe, mostly, but as it’s own thing – it didn’t feel like Stargate. (Stargate barely felt like Stargate in the final seasons, it was effectively a spin off the network didn’t want to split from the main series. And that Ori stuff creeped me out.)

Universe could have reached a wider audience, but they got stuck with the overlapping segment on the venn diagram of ‘Stargate fans’ and ‘gritty space drama fans’. The Stargate name hurt them.

As an aside, we joked that the series was Stargate: Voyager, but how much better would Voyager have been if it was more like Universe? They had the factions already, Starfleet vs Maquis.

The last three or four seasons of X-Files were pretty bad… and I’m still watching True Blood for some awful reason. And I saw all of Lost… but to be fair, I actually liked the way it ended. I just don’t listen to what producers and writers say before something is done.
Neph Sy's avatar

Neph Sy · 112 weeks ago

I stuck it out to the end for Lost and Heroes, I especially feel Heroes was a waste…that show had potential…why did it have to turn into such a clusterf***
Can’t believe I watched “No Ordinary Family” past the first episode. The last season of True Blood was pretty bad, but I’ll probably still watch the next one…the show is STILL better than the books.

Longest show I’ve stuck to watching (and hate myself for it), “American Idol”,
To make it palatable I skip the city auditions episodes, fast forward through the critiques and listen to it while I’m working in the studio.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

I watched all of No Ordinary family on Hulu while I was working. It was just a horrific concept with even worse execution. A shitstorm top to bottom.
diggy's avatar

diggy · 112 weeks ago

I started to watch the “Fringe” pilot, quit after 5 minutes. Haven’t watched any of the show since.

2 replies · active 44 weeks ago

If it’s not for you, that’s fine. If you managed to watch all five seasons there are some wonderful stories, character development and a ton of payoff for the open plot threads.
I am currently trying to get to the end of Hemlock Grove. It is……bad. Like a supernatural german art house film written by a 15 year old from the suburbs of the States who really likes unicorns but hates his mom bad. I can’t stop.

1 reply · active 111 weeks ago

Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

I’ve never even heard of that. But that description alone makes me want to check it out.
DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 111 weeks ago

I’m still debating whether Burn Notice is still worth my time.
How many seasons can you get away with “I got the guy who got me. Wait. No I didn’t. Getting that guy led me to this other guy. NOW I’ll get the guy who got me.”

Though I missed the last 3 episodes of the most recent season, so maybe that answers my question.

2 replies · active 111 weeks ago

Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

Once he rejoined the CIA I … I just couldn’t do it anymore. I just didn’t care. His scrappy resourcefulness and rogue team of occasionally awesomely destructive misfits was what made it fun. Once they gave him “legitimacy” and “resources” it was just another spy story.

Although really, the death knell was sounded when they brought in Jesse. Who fuckin’ cares about that guy? Nobody, that’s who.

Poodles McGee's avatar

Poodles McGee · 111 weeks ago

OH MY GOD, AND THE PRODUCT PLACEMENT. STOP TRYING TO SELL ME A FUCKING CAR, USA. HOW DARE YOU INCORPORATE YOUR ADVERTISING INTO THE SHOW’S FUCKING DIALOGUE!

Bastards.

Sorry, I’m calm now. Sorry.

Congratulations on your first stopping-watching-a-bad-show, Joel.
The wife and I actually watched like 9 terrible eps of Revolution, just because we do whatever JJ Abrams tells us to. I wish I had those hours back.

The Defiant, The Damned And The Dirty

I AM GOING TO BE IN CALGARY THIS WEEKEND FOR CALGARY EXPO!!! Details HERE

Here’s a new LoFi comic! 

I have lots of thoughts on SyFy’s Defiance, but I have to leave for the airport in about 12 hours (yes, 3am to catch a 6am international flight) so for now I will say give it a try.

The second episode is better than the pilot in terms of story and pacing, so I would recommend going at least that far before deciding whether or not it deserves a trial season pass on your DVR. The 2 hour pilot tried to establish the world of the show, but in many ways seemed to leave out key details that would give you a better understanding of how all these aliens came to be on Earth and why we were peacefully coexisting with a seemingly hostile invasion force. As of the 3rd hour of the show I still don’t have all that sorted out. I’m not sure who the agressor is, or if there even was one. I know there was a war, but I can’t tell who it was against. The main character, Shiny Captain Han Reynolds, is a member of the Defiant Few, a platoon that refused to fight and gave way to the uneasy peace with the 8 different races of aliens who all seem to be from the same planet. I understand revealing details in due time, but there are some important things about this high concept world the show would like me to be invested in that I really feel they’ve neglected to explain.

Ok, that was a bit of rambling, but I still say test Defiance out and see what you think. We need more (quality) Sci-Fi on TV and so far Defiance hasn’t revealed itself to be wholly without quality. There’s a good bit to enjoy now and a lot of room for improvement.

Regarding the similarities to Firefly, they are extremely apparent but innofensive. Firefly was 10 years ago. It’s about time it start inspiring a new generation of genre fiction.

COMMENTERS: Firefly was all about humans alone in the big ‘verse, where as nearly every other sci-fi space drama has involved extra terrestrials as friends, foes and unknowns. Which shows or movies do you think made the best use of aliens as real characters, or at least real and effective story elements? I feel like most Star Trek is disqualified in this argument because all of their aliens were just bumpy foreheaded humans that acted exacted exactly like (caricatures of) humans.

Comments (37)

I have a deep and abiding love of Babylon 5. I thought it integrated alien races and humans very well; some as enemies, some as allies, and some as “unknowns”.
Did Eli have to crush his Bat-sicle while being Heston? It seems disrespectful and clearly a waste of good ice cream…

3 replies · active 110 weeks ago

lou's avatar

lou · 110 weeks ago

He’s gonna regret that when it leaks into his eye.
Casey's avatar

Casey · 110 weeks ago

Farscape, enough said.

3 replies · active 110 weeks ago

Jon's avatar

Jon · 110 weeks ago

+1

Of course Farscape and Defiance have producer Rockne S O’Bannon in common

LeoP's avatar

LeoP · 110 weeks ago

I have recently started re watching FarScape for the first time since it ran on TV. I just finished season one. I thought that most of the aliens fell into the sad trope that Star Trek did… most of them are humanoid bipeds except for a few specific puppets. Having said that, I honestly respect their attempt at making Rygel and Pilot real characters despite their lack of traditional human-like proportions. Still… I want to see more varied non-human-look-alike humans.
Candace's avatar

Candace · 110 weeks ago

Although I haven’t re-watched FarScape as you recently have, I would say that some of the superficially humanoid aliens ultimately turned out to more deeply weird over time than they seemed at first – examples being Zhaan and Noranti.
katznhund's avatar

katznhund · 110 weeks ago

As a former resident of St. Louis, I just have to say that last panel is good stuff.

1 reply · active 109 weeks ago

Im glad my hastily researched sports facts we’re offensive.
melchar's avatar

melchar · 110 weeks ago

Another shout out for Babylon 5. The alien/human dynamic was excellent and the storyline is still satisfying now. A lot of other science fiction shows ‘age out’, but B5 remains re-watchable.
As a former resident of Los Angeles who grew up when the Rams was OUR team, St. Louis has all my sympathy..
BluesFan's avatar

BluesFan · 110 weeks ago

What about the Blues? Hockey, sir!
Mr C's avatar

Mr C · 110 weeks ago

Actually the pilot episode of defiance is almost the same as the pilot for eureka (RIP)
http://www.memecenter.com/fun/1341067/defiance-an…

2 replies · active 110 weeks ago

You’re an awful person for linking to that site
Mr C's avatar

Mr C · 110 weeks ago

At least it isn’t 9gag
Doctor Who! Who doesn’t love the Daleks?
But i know most of the aliens they have are humanoid types like Star Trek and Farscape.

2 replies · active 110 weeks ago

WhoFan's avatar

WhoFan · 110 weeks ago

I disagree there.. The new run of Doctor Who certainly has its share of humanoid aliens, however the originals (re: the first 7 doctors) had a plethora of non-humanoids. Mostly still rubber-suited people, but definitely not human shaped. Unfortunately, none of them really continue to be used in future episodes, so they are canon but not integrated species.
I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the old series, not enough to really know all the aliens they had included. But that’s pretty awesome to hear that had odd shaped aliens.

I feel that one of the reasons why there are so many humanoid aliens is because it’s easier and cheaper to slab makeup on an actor.

WhoFan, They did bring back the Ice Warriors, who knows maybe Moffat has a few other reunions up his sleeve?

It’s on SyFy. The best I can hope for is that it doesn’t completely embarrass the genre.
DS9 shouldn’t be exempt since it had characters like Dukat, Garak, Quark, Odo, Kira, etc. As for shows where the aliens that don’t act human at all, I can’t really think of any. Even shows like Farscape had aliens with human like traits.

As for Defiance, there’s definitely a Babylon 5 vibe to it. The characters are interesting and have potential. However, the show does have its problems. The pilot was pretty predictable and there are some continuity issues that they need to address. Just a few potential continuity problems that I noticed:

The mayor said in this week’s episode that they drove out the Irathients with cold-fire weapons but during the battle in the last episode, they only had earth weapons and no alien weapons.

What happened to all the Volge wreckage from the battle? Shouldn’t they be scavenging the battlefield for tech and weapons that they can use?

The deputy was assigned to investigate who set Ben free and hired him to destroy the town but he just forgot about it and decided to save the guy who was being tortured.

They stopped Ben from blowing up the nuclear power plant but the power plant is still there so they better deal with it in the future or the bad guys could just send someone else to blow up the power plant.

BowtiesAreCool's avatar

BowtiesAreCool · 110 weeks ago

Stargate SG-1 pulled the “we populated the universe…mostly” so when there were aliens, they usually were good because all the budget went into making the costumes.

Atlantis had the Wraith, and they were scary albino witch vampires…so there is that.

wwlaos's avatar

wwlaos · 110 weeks ago

I can’t say I was “disappointed” by the pilot because, really, I expected worse, but I still thought it was terrible. Haven’t bothered to watch the second episode yet, but I’ll probably get around to that eventually.

As for shows treating aliens as real characters, obviously Star Tre -*reads the rest of your blurb* … you and me, we come from different worlds. 😐

1 reply · active 109 weeks ago

The Unknown FB's avatar

The Unknown FB · 109 weeks ago

Actually, it helped if you Wiki’ed (if that’s a word now) about the show to read up on the background…but that doesn’t help the casual viewer who should be learning about the backstory (in broad strokes) PDQ into the show.
Of Star Trek, my favorite was the episode of ST: TNG where Geordi LaForge joins the crew of the Enterprise. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go watch it. I’m not going to spoil it. I like the use of metaphysics to explain a theory of sentient evolution (that I’m sure most real physicists don’t really believe in). The effects, for their time, were pretty decent, and the drama and suspense were ratcheted up for that part.

In general…I think maybe Star Wars. Sadly, most of the movies did not focus much on the non-humanoids, or even the weirder humanoids, but between the Ewoks, the Mon Calamari, the various ruffians of Tatooine and the casual way alien reptiles were used as beasts of burden (and cavalry – apparently Taun Tauns were just hairy reptiles…somehow).

In the extended universe, many of these less human characters were free to roam around in the spotlight or as an integral part of the background noise of life in the galaxy. Of course, the quality of writing wasn’t always up to the task, but you can forgive a man his first love.

The Thing.

It was actually a free form jazz artist, but no one could comprehend the beat.

anxiety.junkie's avatar

anxiety.junkie · 110 weeks ago

It may be a weird choice, but I always thought Alien Nation was a great movie/series; especially when it was discovered that they had 3 genders.
Julie Benz is back on television? Why does nobody tell me these things?

Does it suck more or less than No Ordinary Family?

3 replies · active 109 weeks ago

DuckAmuck's avatar

DuckAmuck · 109 weeks ago

It sucks less. I think. It’s difficult to compare 2 different genres, 2 different “networks”.
Her character is a lot like her character from Dexter, but without all the abusive past and children.
I like it, based on the pilot. Like Alien Nation filtered through Orguss and Warhammer 40k with some character-notes from Enemy Mine.
NOTHING sucks more than No Ordinary Family except for maybe The Cape.
Mass Effect has more alieney aliens than anything else I’ve seen. Elcor, hanar, geth. Crazypants.
This is just a test, I’ll delete it in a moment.

John Carter Of Veronica Mars

I’ve been meaning to watch Veronica Mars for several years, but I’ve never actually gotten around to it. I guess I should get on that.

I’m always happy when someone finds a way to circumvent the established systems that are in place for keeping people from getting their creativity out to the people that would appreciate it. Garageband, iTunes, YouTube, Kickstarter and a host of other softwares and services (including the Internet in general) that mostly didn’t exist a decade ago exist, in part, to shake up the status quo of the creative industrial complex and break down the barriers between content creators and their fans. They also exist to make large amounts of money for their owners and shareholders.

See, that’s the thing. The systems by which creative people are given license and funds to create a thing and distribute it to their audience aren’t changing all that much. It’s just that we’re slowly removing redundancies, levels of arbitrary approvals, and decreasing the number of obsolete middlemen in order to take a 50 step process down to a 5 step one. I want to make this. Do you want it? Ok, give me money and I’ll do it and then you can have it. Here, I made it like I said I would. Thanks. That’s pretty much how it’s always been, accept now those are the ONLY steps (in most cases), instead of just the major milestones between dozens of other, smaller ones. That isn’t to say creating a thing like a show or a book or an album doesn’t require hundreds of steps, and hours and often times people. It’s just that there are fewer INDIVIDUALS that can tell you, “No. Stop this,” and you’d actually have to stop.

 The Veronica Mars Kickstarter (which funded on its first day and is currently hovering over $3 million) is a different beast than your typical crowd funded project. Instead of a person or team with an idea to make a thing, and all they need is money and time, this is a studio owned property that’s jammed up sideways with the typical Hollywood bullshit red tape. Rob Thomas doesn’t own his show, which means some WB exec said, “We’re not going to give you $2 million to make a movie for a cancelled show that no one cares about. Come at me with a pitch for an adapted fairy tale but with hot teens and we’ll talk business. Now it’s TIME FOR COCAINE!” And Rob Thomas said, “A) I do not front Matchbox 20. That is a DIFFERENT dude. And B) How about I get the Internet to give you $2 milly? Then can we do our movie?” And that exec probably replied, “SURE WHATEVER IS IT HOT IN HERE TO YOU IT’S PRETTY HOT TO ME I DON’T THINK IT WAS THIS HOT BEFORE I DID ALL THIS COOOOCAAAAAAAAAIIIIINNNNNNNNNE!!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! AAAAAAAAAAGHGHGHGLGLGLGLG!!!!!”

I honestly forgot what I was writing about during that last part, so I’ll wrap up by saying that this is the first step in a BIG BIG change in how very expensive projects get made or whether they get made at all. There will certainly be some (probably A LOT) of people that take this idea and try to replicate its success in extremely dumb ways, but there will probably also be quite a few worthy projects that get off the ground because of it. I don’t think we’ll get a Serenity 2: Zombie Wash In Space from Kickstarter any time soon, but I bet we get a few more proper finales to some unduly truncated TV shows. It’s a BIG baby step in the right direction.

COMMENTERS: First off, are you psyched for this Veronica Mars movie? Did you love the show or overlook it as “Buffy without monsters” like I did? Second thing: What property do you think would best benefit from a Kickstarter resurrection? A cancelled show, a long rumored and eventually shelved movie project? A video game sequel that never happened?

Guest Comic By William Tallman Of Reptilis Rex

I’m at Emerald City Comicon RIGHT NOW having a motherbuttshaking PARTYPARTYPARTYPARTY!!! If you are in Seattle, come to booth 1106 (the Blind Ferret Booth) and SHAKE DEM HEALTHY BUTTS!  (also buy stuff from me)

hijinks-ensue-emerald-city-comicon-map-2013

In my absence you are presently being treated to a guestual type comic from William Tallman, creator of Reptilis Rex. It is uncomfortably clear from the panels above that W.T. gets my sense of humor, gets my characters’ sensibilities and draws my characters better than I do. I’m not even going to ask if you enjoyed this comic (BECAUSE YOU DID), so in your pursuit of more haha-yuckyucks by Mr. Tallman I will direct you again (THAT’S RIGHT, TWO LINKS!) to his comic about a deposed Reptoid king from our very own hollow Earth who comes up to the surface and has a pretty shitty life. The cuteness of the pictures is designed to distract you from the undeniably honest sadness of the human reptoid condition. It’s funny!

COMMENTERS: Have you ever explored the expanded universe (novels, comics, CCG’s, whatever) of any particular popular culture element? Did you find comfort in delving into a larger universe which concerned a thing you already loved, or were you saddened when you found out Han Solo used to be partners with a space rabbit?