Tuesday, May 12, 2009

5 TV shows that would make me a better nerd

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of seeing the new Star Trek movie.

WOW! I have not seen such a great movie in all aspects in a really long time! I was thoroughly entertained, fell in love with all the characters, and LOVED the space battles! I already want to go see it for a second time! Plus the music by Michael Giacchino, a J.J. Abrams regular, was fantastic! I walked out of the theater wanting not only to see this movie again, but to go back and watch the original series! In fact, my BF and I made a pact to watch at least one season from each of the Star Trek series, if for no other reason to boost my nerd cred.

As I contemplated this challenge, I felt a small twinge of guilt because Star Trek is not the only TV series that as a self proclaimed "nerd" or "geek" I should know more about. Sure, I have a ton of nerdy TV shows under my belt including Buffy, Dollhouse, Firefly, Heroes, Lois & Clark, Wonder Woman, Alias, X-Files, Veronica Mars, to name a few. But my collection has some glaring holes.

So I came up with the following list. 5 TV series that I should watch to become a better nerd:

5. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

This is a show I almost started watching when it first premiered last year simply because I am a Summer Glau fan. But the truth is I hadn't seen any of the Terminator movies, had no idea what the premise was, and frankly couldn't remember despite the plethora of subway and bus ads when the show came on! But this past winter I watched T2 and was instantly hooked! How could I have missed a franchise based on robots from the future attempting to destroy all humanity? That's right up my Isaac Asimov-reading alley! I have since caught 1 SCC ep, thanks to Fox programing it right before Dollhouse, was shocked to see Brian Austin Green doing a great job, and am really bummed the fall renewal looks so bleak. I have mad plans to watch T1 and T3 this weekend to prepare for Terminator Salvation out in few weeks, and then I want to jump right into the TV show!

4. Lost

Ok, I admit, I have a bit of grudge against this show. I boycotted it from the beginning because I am one of those Alias fans that blames Lost for the demise of Alias! And to be honest, since then, I've abhorred J.J. Abrams and all his work. In fact, until seeing Star Trek, I hadn't forgiven Abrams for ruining what I deemed one of the best shows on television! (apparently I am still a little bitter!) Needless to say, when Lost started the fall after Alias's third season, which was the beginning of Alias's decline, I was too mad at J.J. to try out his new show which I considered the distraction that kept him from fixing Alias. After some persuasion, I gave the show a try, but instantly recognized the same frustrating tactics Abrams used in Alias to create intrigue but never providing the needed release and quit the show, prophesying that like Alias, it would start to suck in its 3rd season, and be done by its 5th. Well, Lost should celebrated it's 5th season finale and is on board for a 6th season so I guess I was wrong! Now that Abrams is almost back on my good side, perhaps I will give Lost a second try.

3. Dr. Who

IMDB plot summary states "The adventures of an eccentric renegade time traveling alien and his companions." How could I NOT be watching this show? With the original show from 1963 lasting TWENTY-SIX seasons (!!!) and the current relaunch slated to enter its 5th season in 2010, that's a lot of catching up to do! But Dr. Who is such a part of sci-fi and British culture that I am remiss for having never seen a single episode! That soon will change!

2. Battlestar Gallactica

This is the show I probably feel the most nerd-guilt for not watching! I absolutely love space travel (I would totally go into space right now if I had the opportunity!) and I eat up Asimov and Orson Scott Card novels that take place in the far future, so it really makes no sense that I not be into a show that is based on that very concept. Now that the current run is over, I feel the need to quickly catch up before a movie or relaunch happens. I think I'll start with the 2004 relaunch first, then work my way back to the 1978 original series. Thoughts?

1. Star Trek


Again, I reiterate: Futuristic Space Travel??? How could I NOT have watched these shows! Really, I think I need to turn in my nerd badge. But thank goodness for Blockbuster online- my deus ex machina! It will also take some time to make my way through all four of these Star Trek series, but if the show lives up to the hype, which I'm sure it will, it should be a pleasurable experience!

Honorable Mention: Angel

I say Honorable Mention because I am currently making my way through the box set I bought for my BF's birthday, who is a huge Angel fan. We just finished the first season and I can't believe I shied away from this show for so long, especially being the die-hard Joss Whedon fan that I am. So far I love how it gives us just enough Buffy references without being completely reliant on the Buffyverse for its survival. Definitely a show worth seeing, and I'm glad I am finally catching up on it!

So... now that I have my summer watching listpreapared and ready to be executed, hopefully I will return back in the fall a geekier, more well-rounded nerd. Any thoughts, comments, or revisions to my Summer Nerd Fest? Post 'em in the comments!

8 comments:

sklabah said...

You asked for thoughts...Oh, I have such thoughts on this subject!

First, get to watching Lost immediately, knowing that Season 6 is the end, and that nearly all the questions the show raises are being answered with vigor in season's 5 and 6. The show has, for me, been consistently good because of the characters. While the plot has drifted, I think the light is becoming visible at the end of the tunnel. My wife and I look forward to going back and watching these again when it's all over.

Battle Star! The 70's show was a vast space-opera with more battles and crash-landings on spare Universal Studio's sets than Star Trek ever was, and I loved it...as a kid. It still holds some nostalgia value, and has it's very fun, very cool moments, but be aware of the high-cheese, especially if you plan on watching the newer, deadly serious series first. Personally, I would watch them chronologically, as the reboot pays homage to a lot of stuff in the original in ways that would be lost to one uninitiated, as you yourself claim to be.

Another 70's-80's guilty pleasure would be the old Buck Rogers series with Gil Gerard as Buck and the lovely Erin Gray as Wilma. Second Season was vastly superior to the first, and saw Buck on an exploratory vessel ala Star Trek, vs. being part of the Earth Defense Council or whatever in the first season.

So yeah. Star Trek was amazing! I, also, want to go back and see some of the old series, though I'm partial to start at Enterprise, having seen some episodes recently and really liking them even more than Next Gen and others. I'm also feeling inexorably drawn to the original series for obvious reasons. IF you haven't seen Star Trek 2, the Wrath of Khan, I implore you... do it asap. You won't be sorry.

Aaaaaaaand done.

The Nerdy Bird said...

Wow, yes, I suggest you watch all of these shows. I mean it. Right now. Quite whatever else you're doing and just park yourself in front of the tv immediately.

The old Doctor Who is tough to sit through at times, I give you permission to begin with the new series. :)

And I totally felt the same way about Lost causing the decline of Alias. I'm still bitter too.

Pablo Javier Frizan said...

Yes. It's a great movie. And the same pact I have with my brother. Basically, it's a two long-hour tour beyond through a whole world of emotions. By the way, I share your feelings about the tv shows and I add The X files.

K. D. Bryan said...

Very YES to all of these save 2, which I still haven't seen (I promise I'm getting to it).

Terminator - You can safely skip T3 but the series itself has been increasingly awesome and interesting. I'm interested to see where the new film goes with the franchise. Plus, hey, Christian Bale's pretty great in anything.

Lost - I didn't know about the bitter Alias fandom thing! I imagine it's like how some Buffy fans felt about Firefly during Season Six's perceived precipitous drop in quality (not that I still haven't grown to love both). I was really love/hate with Lost during the first three seasons but then Brian K. Vaughan came onboard and I swung completely over into the "love" column. There's certain illogical bits that still bug me but the story as a whole is extremely interesting and the acting is great.

Doctor Who - I actively resisted watching this for ever and ever until a friend of mine got me into the new series. I'm a big fan now and enjoy it a great deal, even with the echoes of slightly hokey British F/X from older versions.

Star Trek - No, really? Wow. Um. Where to start? There's some serious cheese in the early shows but it's still fun and the classic eps are classic for a reason ("City On The Edge of Forever" gets me every time). Also, Star Trek: The Next Generation swings in the opposite direction at times (some eps are painfully dull and serious) but it too is great. My favorite Trek is probably still Deep Space Nine but that's most likely because I'm a big Avery Brooks fan. IMHO, Voyager is a bit of a crap shoot and you can feel free to avoid Enterprise and at least one-third of the Star Trek films.

And Angel? Oh, man. Angel is probably my favorite fantasy/sci-fi series EVAH. :D It's dark, funny and consistently surprising. Fandom varies on if it stayed awesome until the end but I personally loved it all the way through. I rewatch it whenever I'm in a bad mood.

So, I'm curious - you've seen Buffy & Firefly, yes? What other nerd shows have you already seen and loved?

D0nnaTr0y said...

Wow guys! Thanks for the comments!

@sklabah- So watch the old Battlestar first? Plus Buck Rogers & Wrath of Khan? Got it! Thanks!

@NerdyBird - SO glad to know that I'm not the only bitter Alias fan and I'll jump right to the new series of Dr. Who!

@pablo - I'm glad you liked the movie too and don't worry - I've seen most of the X-Files already, though it might be fun to go back and watch them straight through chronologically!

@K.D. - Yeah I've heard T3 was more of a joke but my obsessive compulsive nature makes me need to see them all! I didn't realize fans blamed Buffy 6 on Firefly, I thought that was due to the new network. Crazy! And yeah.. I'm really loving Angel!

Siskoid said...

New Series Who, definitely. And at 13 episodes a season, it's really not that hard to catch up. Addictive too. Classic Who you can take in at your leisure. It's not like it's available in seasons. Each story has its own DVD, and they're released out of sequence. If you need more information, search for my Understanding Doctor Who series on the ol' blog.

If you really want to do 1-season-of-each Trek, I'd recommend TOS 1, TNG 4, 5 or 6, DS9 is harder because it's a more involved serial... start with season 4; Voyager is hard to recommend at all, but Season 6 maybe? Enterprise Season 3 is one long story that's quite good. (Avoid TOS 3, TNG 1-2, DS9(1 and 7), VOY, and ENT 2. I'd say those were weaker overall.

Mike said...

big alias fan too - think lost is overrated - incomprehensible - convoluted - and i know this marks me a philistine - but, i call em like i see em....

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