Have you ever thought “my word, I am brilliant – I have just absolutely the best taste in television and music, and should really actively attract the attention of others so I can display so!” well you’re in luck, cause if you haven’t. I have – and I’ll be making you consume my opinions via the power of mind control (and eye-reading).
Star Trek: The Next Generation neeeeerrrrrrrrrrrd!
First up is the brilliant Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s like coke to dr pepper, tomato to your tomato, old testament to your new testament – relatively the same as it’s competitor but you feel significantly more at ease with the liberal attitude displayed in the latter.
Star Trek was always a show I had been peripherally aware of growing up as a
stud nerd, it was set in space, it wasn’t ashamed of itself, it was happy to go on for four episodes in a row about Holodeck misadventures (Riker and the holo-girlfriend, Picard and his detective days). Suffice to say it was relatively high-level sci-fi – which at the age of ten, trying to avoid the next episode of Gon’ Huntin’, was dessert to my eyes. However went put up against the likes of Stargate or Firefly I knew I would take that fast-hitting action any day of the week.
To my surprise though I’ve recently found myself entranced in the adventures of the Enterprise. Once you grind past the teeth-gnashing first few epsiodes (so so so cheesy) it becomes so addictive. The ethics, and morals displayed within the show feel so far ahead of it’s time (late 80s, early 90s) – LGBT, gender, and socio-economic issues are frequently challenged over the seasons, and in fact are done so to a level I’d consider incredibly progressive (even by Twitter standards!).
While certain episodes can go on occasionally, the cast polishes away any spots, as they have so much depth both in terms of acting ability, and character development. My personal favourite is the Android – Data, who constantly strives to be more human and yet constantly displays more human, and empathetic than even his most virtuous of companions.
Overall I’m halfway through the fifth of seven seasons (that’s like 100 x 45 minute episodes…) and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Seasons 3, 4, and so far 5 have definitely been the best. season 1 takes about half a season to let you warm up to the characters, and get past the shoddy scenarios encountered early on. However a string of character developments sees season 2 truly plummet. If you’re into sci-fi, give it a go!
I actually started watching this show today, I was bored and looking for something to do and decided to flick this on. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched anime, and to be honest I was a little apprehensive. It’s not that I dislike anime, I think in a 1 to 1 comparison with Western TV shows, anime probably makes me laugher and think deeper than the West. However, I battle to enjoy any TV at all because it feels like too passive of an experience to me – so to then watch animated TV I feel even lazier. I believe any medium, no matter the form of its expression can move people equally – but it’s hard to not let slight feelings of idiocy creep in when you’re in your mid 20s watching “cartoons” (which is such an insult to the medium).
It is to my utmost pleasure that I announce that this cartoon is thoroughly brilliant – it’s funny, energetic, very well drawn, and readers…stick with me readers……THE SOUNDTRACK IS SO GOOD. I had first been told of this show more than a year ago when I was at a LAN party and some guy put on some sweet chill hip-hop vibes – the tracks he was playing were created by Nujabes, a DJ who had also produced the songs for Samurai Champloo – to my woeful ignorance then (and everyday up until this day) I wouldn’t watch the show, until today!
It’s probably too early to declare outright brilliance series wide, but in the first few episodes it’s been nothing short. I don’t think it’s fair to point to anything in particular as the one winning feature of the show thus far, it’s really the full experience of Samurai Champloo – the writing, art style, soundtrack, direction – everything is clearly well thought out, and to be honest I would expect nothing less from the man (Shinichirō Watanabe) who created my favourite anime show – Cowboy Bebop. If you’ve ever thought about giving an animated show ago that isn’t Adventure Time – then why not try Samurai Champloo?
I remember seeing posters for this in the New York subway and the show had some pretty funny taglines – however, travelling wasn’t conducive to catching new TV shows so it wasn’t until I was bored looking for a new show last month that I actually watched it. There’s definitely a few great series of sketches – my personal favourites are Wheels Ontario, and Dr. Armond, but my main criticism of Kroll Show is it’s hit-to-miss ratio. Every sketch show has one of these – and while I think Kroll Show definitely exceeds the level of which to entertain – it’s not something I’d go around the streets yelling about. It’ll keep you laughing, but it probably won’t make any “best shows ever” list.