Category Archives: TV Shows

Posts about TV shows or TV characters.

The Benefits of Escapism

Sometimes, the world really sucks. It’s beginning to feel like every time we start to heal and move on from one tragedy or disaster, another strikes. Last week I was dealing with flooding in our area, and the persistent threat of tornadoes, but all of that faded into the background with what happened in Orlando.

This is by no means a post rehashing the news, or remarking on the politics now surrounding it. I’m in dire need of a break from it all, just as I’m sure you all are, no matter your personal affiliations. It’s times like these that I really do marvel at the beauty of literature, music, and films to take one’s mind off of things. This is when I’m most in need of all guilty pleasures, no matter how small. Red wine and some cookie dough ice cream while watching Netflix? Yep, I’m there.

One of my personal favorite guilty pleasures is historical romance novels. For a bit of light reading full of lush clothing and descriptive language, it can be interesting enough to keep my attention and absorb me so that I forget the awfulness of the world around me. Plus, it has the benefit of being comfortingly predictable; as a reader, you know exactly where the story is heading. Love will triumph and the hero and heroine will ride off into the sunset together. It’s incredibly reassuring and serves its purpose wonderfully: escapism.

Everyone has their own form of escapism. Literature is a fantastic one, because you can honestly imagine yourself in the shoes of a heroine and lose yourself in a new world that you create in your mind. Geek culture is full of ways to indulge in escapism. Science fiction and fantasy novels can be brilliant, richly detailed escapism. The multitude of geek-central television shows we currently have, whether presently airing or available on Netflix (Firefly, anyone?) are a fantastic source of comfort right now. Plus with all of the great movies coming out this year, there has to be one or another that you can check out in the weeks to come.

The Nine Alignments of Firefly

Editor: There we go. Firefly, Good, and Evil, all in one image.

I’ve talked before about how I use the phrase “popcorn movie” as a positive phrase because there is something so deliciously wonderful about being able to absorb myself in a film for two hours, whether or not the movie is full of substance. Popcorn movies are perfect for times like these, when all we really want is to munch some popcorn in a dark theatre and “ooo” and “ahhh” over some really cool graphics and Good vs. Evil stories. Especially because popcorn movies, like historical romance novels, give us the sense that good/love can and will win.

So I say make sure to indulge in some escapism this weekend, in whatever awesomely geeky way you want. And then Monday, pick yourself back up and face the world and do your best to emulate the heroes in the fandom you indulged in and try to make sure that good will win, even in our presently sucky world. Whether by speaking out against hate, donating time, money, or blood, writing to your lawmakers or voting, or even reaching out to your friends and family and letting them know you love them. Use your geeky escapism to bolster your spirits and refresh yourself so that you can help tackle the problems we all face.

We May Have to Watch More of This… Sesame Street

So we have started occasionally showing the Geek Baby some videos and such online – like Winnie the Pooh per our poll – and then we remembered that HBO bought Sesame Street, and that means we have access to it there.

We’ve watched a bit of classic Sesame Street, and the Geek Baby can’t really sit through a whole episode, so she wanders off a bit into it but it’s fun. Holly and I both certainly get some nostalgia from it.

And then today we put on the most recent episode, last weekend’s Music Magic. And who cares what the Geek Baby thought… we were awestruck.

This fairy, in fact.

This fairy, in fact.

First, the long opening segment was about Elmo being left the new fairy character’s magic wand. He casts a spell, and suddenly everyone around him is singing whatever they say. And they can’t stop singing whatever they say. Holly and I could not stop thinking – and it seemed rightly so – of the Buffy episode “Once More with Feeling,” the musical episode.

Good times. And then the episode went on, you know, songs and letters and numbers. These things. Anyway, it continues on to a segment about listening carefully. With Cookie Monster.

At Hogwarts.

“Furry Potter and the Goblet of Cookies,” to be precise, and there’s a muppet of Dumbledore there too with a funny name and it was amazing. There were cute house banners in the background, Cookie Monster doing magic, it was just…

When did Sesame Street become so geeky? I don’t know, but I like it. I think this watching kids’ shows thing might work out for us…

The Flash – Recap and Review

First off, it might have been a week or two, but – whoa – the finale rocked my world. It most certainly made my head spin. Let’s deal with the awesomeness that is John Wesley Shipp donning the suit as ‘the’ Jay Garrick. A little trippy, but way cool. For those who missed the earlier television series (90s), John Wesley Shipp played Barry Allen. Maybe you saw it coming, all the hints at the man behind the iron mask, but I certainly didn’t expect to see a version of Barry’s father – The Flash in his own reality/dimension.

Jay Garrick - the Flash

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – First Impressions

Final Fantasy Type 0 HD

I finally recently picked up Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, one of the first games I was actually interested in for the X-Box One. Well, mostly… it’s a port of a PSP game, with cranked-up graphics. There’s some really solid parts, from fantastic cutscenes, to pretty good third-person action sequences, to a pretty fuzzy world map where you go zipping into active time battles.

One of the first things that I should mention is that this game is rated Mature. That would be an easy fact to miss because, come on, it’s a Final Fantasy game… those are usually rated Teen. However, the decision on this one apparently was that they needed blood. Lots and lots of blood.

However, the blood does a good job of underscoring the serious nature of the story. Four kingdoms, where one decides to invade the others. It actually feels very Avatar: The Last Airbender. Except instead of the fun of that series, you take the more serious tone of Legend of Korra and add in bloody violence to really send the message home…

I’m a couple missions in, so I’ll say a few things about the story, and then about the two aspects to this RPG: action combat, and strategy.

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Star Trek Computers Aren’t All That Retro

leonard-nimoy-obit-videoSixteenByNine540-v2

Spock at his computer station.

Last month we talked about Star Trek: The Original Series miniskirts, how they came to be and what they signified. While researching the paper that eventually turned into that post, I found out some interesting things about technology too. Most sci-fi isn’t actually futurist, meaning it doesn’t actually attempt to predict the future in an accurate way. Most sci-fi is designed to make a social statement by taking a situation to an extreme, or to explore possibilities by asking scientific what-if questions, or both. It’s not meant to be a “history of the future.”

Star Trek did those social things, and fantastically well. It’s famous for them. However, it also turns out that Gene Roddenberry, creator and showrunner of Star Trek, was an enthusiastic futurist who wrote papers on the future of technology and was invited to lecture at NASA as well as several universities and colleges. While Star Trek was first and foremost a fantasy of space travel, Roddenberry was interested in presenting concepts he actually found workable and likely to exist in the future. One of his most important ideas was the Enterprise’s central computer, described in this pre-production memo:

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