Sunday, April 20, 2008

An ode to the best shows ever

Some of you already know this, but when I was a kid I watched way too much TV so my parents forbid me from watching it. I was allowed to watch the news and Twin Peaks. I'm not kidding. Fraggle Rock was forbidden but a show about a man who boffed his own daughter was completely okay.

I got pretty used to not having a TV. When I went to college I didn't have one in the dorm my first or second year, and man was it good for my grades. Then when I moved into my first apartment I finally bought this 1997 cabinet television a friend was getting rid of. It weighs 800 pounds and sits on the floor and I still have it. It cost me $35.

One night I was flipping channels and I came across this intriguing little image. It was a little gray puppet wandering all over a space ship. It was "Exodus from Genesis," the third episode of Farscape, and I was hooked.

Farscape was true genius. An American astronaut gets shot into space by accident and ends up on a space ship full of escaped alien prisoners
who then become the subject of a universe-wide manhunt. Sometimes the show went way out there, but even though it was full of crazy puppets it still always had real emotional content. I cried, I laughed, I loved those characters.

Then one day I was flipping channels and I saw this redheaded chick give a pair of pez dispensers to some little werewolf dude. It was season three of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I was hooked. I loved that show. Every episode left me with a smile or a tear or a gaping open mouth. It always elicited an emotion because I cared about the characters.

On both shows people changed drastically from who they were when the story started. People died, people were flawed.

On Farscape they were always making life worse for people when they came around. Not on purpose of course, but it seems every decision John made on that show resulted in multiple deaths. It was a hell of a responsibility to take on. And Buffy was responsible for protecting the world from evil. So I guess that's the key to a good show for me - a flawed individual with enormous responsibility surrounded by people who grow and change under extreme circumstances.

They inspired me to watch more television and still today I regularly pop in my DVDs and run marathons of both shows. Sometimes I'll remember a line or a moment I want to remember so I'll watch an episode, and once I watch one I have a strong desire to watch the next one so I just keep on going until I get to the end.

These are the two shows that inspire me the most.

When I'm done with Pushing Daisies I might go back to my feature idea, but if I'm not ready for that yet I'll start in on my pilot. It's in the space bounty hunter genre. And it will definitely have a flawed hero with lots of responsibility surrounded by friends and enemies who change and grow over time. Because that's what I like.


  1. Anonymous2:32 AM

    Space Bounty Hunter, eh? Have you ever seen Cowboy Bebop?

  2. Hi, Emily, the first time I put in a comment it was 2:41 AM Nigerian time and 'am supposed to be in bed, so the IP froze on me. I keep coming back and trying ever since. Somehow it’s quite incredible how you are sold on cats, and you know what, in my part of the world, this side of paradise, Yoruba, a cat is much more than the ordinary pet that keeps the rodent away and does not get unduly excited unless, unless… Oh, well, thanx for having a site one could visit for this something one could read, and knowing you are alive to make blogging an art that's worthwhile. Cya @

  3. I like Cowboy Bebop. It's not my favorite show, but it's pretty good.

  4. I recommend checking out the Fear Agent comic book, not exactly space bounty hunter but in the same realm.

  5. Anonymous1:50 PM

    I liked Cowboy Bebop, except for Spike's boring and tacky backstory (which ruined the last two episodes because that's all they were about).

    Apparently there's a Cowboy Bebop movie that takes place before the last two episodes. Haven't seen it yet, though.

    Bebop's pretty good, especially for an anime, seeing as I hate anime's style and everall crappiness.

  6. Anonymous2:02 PM

    Writing a space bounty hunter story without watching the entire series of Cowboy Bebop is like writing a fantasy novel without reading LOTR.

    //just like Joss Whedon, I'm sure

  7. Actually Tyler I totally disagree with you about that. I'm one of those people who tries to stay as far as possible from things that could unduly influence me when I'm writing something.

    I won't be watching Cowboy Bebop more than I already have because 1) it's very different from what I'm trying to do. VERY different, and 2) I wouldn't want to accidentally make it more similar because I saw them do something on the show that then creeped its was into my story.

  8. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Ah, that's cool then. You're missing out on a great series, though.

  9. Well like I said, I've seen the show. It's pretty good. But it's not a show I'm going to make an effort to watch and now that I'm working on something with the same basic premise I'm going to avoid it.

  10. The second "space" enters the picture, I go cross-eyed. I've never liked space.

    But I love Bounty Hunters!!

  11. Anonymous10:10 PM

    Em, I caught an ep of TWIN PEAKS a while back (a show I loved), first time since it aired in the early 90s and was amazed...

    ...slow... seemed to move.

    Given that you're Action Girl (not to be confused with Word Girl, an excellent cartoon on Noggin), you might get a kick at how ponderous TP now seems.


    BTW... I just gave Just Me's blog a gander. Now I want to give it a goose.

  12. Oddly enough I have season one of Twin Peaks sitting on my shelf but haven't watched it at all. I need to do that.

  13. Just saw this news about Farscape. Probably not exactly what you were hoping for, but I can tell you that if they do it right - as Joss has done Buffy: Season 8 and Angel: After the Fall - this could satisfy a bit of your Farscape craving.


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