Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

More Love for Bad 90s TV

Aw. You know, two years ago, I'd have been really thrilled by this. Well, technically my reaction would have been "Yep, called it!"

Too bad, I pretty much wandered away from new-BSG a while ago. It's a good show, don't get me wrong. But I just wasn't emotionally invested in it. Also, I hate Starbuck with a passion. I appreciate that she's a groundbreaking character, actually allowed to be flawed in much the same manner as a male character, it's just that, in the end, she's like the kind of male character that tends to irritate the hell out of me. So there you go.

On the plus side, I finally found out where I put my copy of the Devil's Cape. Which I've owed a review on for months. It's nothing against the book, which looks awesome, merely that law school has been EATING MY BRAIN this year. But I've found my book again and I have Thanksgiving break coming up, so I can finally relax and read and review. (Thank you for being patient with me!)

As I've mentioned before, I've been watching a lot of the Sentinel. Which is incredibly, wonderfully, 90s. I have such a thing for paranormal-cop-paired-with-incongruous-partner shows. (I always thought Forever Knight started sucking after they lost Schenke. Seriously. The most fun part of having a vampire detective is the stereotypical garlic-loving Canadian-Polish partner damnit.) It's interesting in particular, because, unlike say Kung-Fu: The Legend Continues, I actually watched this show in its original run. It's interesting to see how my perceptions have changed and what catches my attention now that didn't when I was a fourteen year old squidget:

1) When I was a squidget, I was all about Sandburg, the geeky anthropologist sidekick. Granted, he is still kind of neat, being short and smart and enthusiastic. But now I have noticed something that apparently escaped my fourteen-year-old eyes. Jim Ellison is a fucking lunatic. If it moves, he will tackle it. If it is a vehicle, he will fall out of it, jump on it, or blow it the fuck up. Sometimes all three. If there is a gun, he will drop it. And he will still manage to be bad-ass, often in ways involving his belt.

I'm waiting for an episode in which he tackles a rocket, disables it with his belt, and beats the crap out of the pilot, while dropping his gun into a turbine or something. It seems inevitable by this point.

It shouldn't be surprising that he's my favorite character this time around.

2) As a corollary, it amuses the hell out of me that it's established that Ellison was a medic in the army. Do medics have to take the Hippocratic Oath? If yes. That's HILARIOUS.

3) The magic jaguars are awesome.

Also, apparently "super senses" include things like prophetic dreams, seeing ghosts, and raising the dead. Because... I dunno. Jaguars are cool? :-)

4) This is the first show I've seen in which the ex-wife of the main character is featured prominently and is not a) characterized as a raving bitch or b) characterized as being THIS CLOSE to falling into bed with her ex-husband at a moment's notice. There's a nice chemistry between the characters and the relationship is complex enough that I actually buy that these are two people who were in love once, found themselves fundamentally incompatible, and found themselves to be better friends once they parted.

5) This is also one of the few secret superhero type shows in which the characters "in the know" are actually smart enough to TELL THEIR BOSS about the whole superpowers thing. It cuts a lot of time from having to make shit up when your boss actually knows how you found out that your partner is being held in the abandoned factory through smelling duck feathers in the water.

6) It's a common thread of these kind of shows for the sidekick to be more libidinously-inclined than the main-character (my spellcheck does not think that "libidinously-inclined" is a word. However, it also does not appear to think "spellcheck" is a word either, so I'm taking it with a grain of salt). I think, however, it's relatively rare for the sidekick to be much more SUCCESSFULLY libidinous.

Also, in retrospect, I'm far more used to seeing the Daniel Jackson/Spencer Reid style of hot-geek-who-is-charmingly-bumbling-and-unaware-of-his-hotness, which has some appeal I guess, but I'm finding it a nice change to see a geek who KNOWS his appeal with the ladies and how to work it.

That said, the series is still pretty much a slash-fest. But I knew THAT ten years ago.

7) Somehow, despite being a relatively dirty minded youngster, I completely missed the fact that the sense tests are totally bondage-y fun.

I did not however miss the part in one episode where the bad guy tells Ellison to take the wire out of his pants or he'll make Sandburg do it for him.

Brackett's kind of a pervert's all I'm sayin'.

8) The fact that the exterior of the Peruvian rainforest somehow is visibly temperate, overcast, and contains maple trees.

9) Richard Burgi has creepy eyes. Creepy. Also, his skin tone apparently reflects blue-screen light. Which makes certain horse racing scenes really fucking funny.

Here's a tip for any future cheap TV producers out there. If your lead actor's head reflects the blue screen light, stop moving in for the close up!

10) Belts are all purpose tools of garrotting, light-breaking, property destroying awesome doom. I may have to stop boycotting them.

...I love this show.


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