Tuesday, December 20, 2005

TV On DVD (And A Little Bit More) - December 20, 2005

A very short but very strong list this week, which considering that I'm in my pre-Christmas funk, is probably a good thing. It started last night at my bowling league Christmas Party and let's just say I didn't have good time. Between poor bowling, selfish people, having to catch the bus and not wanting to get my bowling balls greasy I had a grand total of one piece of pizza. And that's how it starts.

Nowhere Man: The Complete Series
- Nowhere Man debuted in the second season of UPN's existence after the network dropped everything on their schedule that didn't have the words "Star" and "Trek" in the title. Now setting aside the fact that I happen to think there were a couple of good shows besides Voyager in that first season lineup, I have to admit that Nowhere Man was one of the best shows the network ever put together. Its cancellation after a single season was a real shocker, although UPN execs at that time were quicker to pull the trigger on a new show than someone at Fox who saw a science fiction series on the schedule. There was an attempt at resolution of the main story line but there is still argument today as to whether it was tacked on or if the series was even meant to continue beyond one season.

Seaquest DSV: Season One
- Roy Scheider starred in this series which had Steven Spielberg as Executive Producer. The first season wasn't that great and there was a lot of dissension on the set. Still I liked it better than the following seasons. A large number of the first season cast was either dumped or jumped ship (so to speak) as the whole concept was revamped. The kept Jonathon Brandis and the talking dolphin though.

The Shield: Season 4
- I've never seen The Shield although it has aired on Global here in Canada (although I don't think the fourth season has been seen here yet - it is notoriously difficult to find out what show's that network is airing at any given time) which shows the difference between Canada, where this show can be seen on broadcast TV, and the US where the PTC is trying to get it run off of cable. Season Four was the one with Glenn Close cast as Michael Chiklis's boss, a role which earned her an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Actress in a Drama.

Tracey Takes on: The Complete First Season
- Tracey Takes On never aired in Canada except on the pay movie channels (if there) so I know nothing about it except for the brief clips I used to see at Emmy time when it was almost invariably nominated and frequently won in a number of categories. Star Tracey Ullman is one of those chamelon-like actors who can take on a variety of parts (the IMDB lists 10 roles for her in Tracey Takes On and adds "other roles") and be unrecognizable as herself in most of them. Tremendous talent.

The Twilight Zone: Season 5 - The Definitive Edition
- The final season of The Twilight Zone which saw the series revert to the tighter half hour format. The season as a whole has the usual great casting but in particular this season features the episode "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet" with William Shatner. This was later remade in the Twilight Zone movie with John Lithgow and parodied in Third Rock From The Sun with Lithgow and Shatner together.

And now for a little bit more:

Serenity (Widescreen Edition)
- I know this isn't TV but I was a big fan of the TV series Firefly (and I really want to get that gorram DVD set!) and the movie is really a continuation of the series. The special effects are tremendous and the characters pick up from where they left off with barely a pause. The writing is incredibly witty ("This is the captain. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight... turbulence and then explode.") and while some critics didn't get it, Science fiction author Orson Scott Card has called Serenity "the best science fiction film ever." For reasons which escape most fans, the movie never really found an audience - worldwide box office was below budget (not helped by Universal cancelling the theatrical release in seven countries) but there's hope that if DVD sales are strong Universal might consider a second sequel to be made for its SciFi Channel. So buy the gorram DVD!

No comments: