Category Archives: The X-Files

So much stranger, so much darker, so much madder, so much better.

Well, it’s finally happened.

I kind of always knew it would, eventually, once I set my mind to it. It was just a matter of finding the time, which I did over the Christmas/New Year holiday. I saw this time stretching in front of me and thought, whatever shall I do with it? And I looked at my Netflix subscription and thought, well, YOU certainly have been going underutilized lately, haven’t you?

And I fell headlong into a binge I have yet to come back from. (And to be honest, I don’t quite know what I’ll do with myself once I’m finished, so I’d rather not think about that right now, thanks.)

Yes, it’s finally happened, people of the blog.

I am obsessed – BEYOND obsessed – with Doctor Who.

I even hear the theme music and I get all boppy. I've got it bad bad bad.

I even hear the theme music and I get all boppy. I’ve got it bad bad bad.

Now, I know in even writing this, I’m going to be getting comments from people who are all “I’ve been watching this since it STARTED and I’ve seen every EPISODE and I know THE WHOLE STORY and you know NOTHING, Jon Snow” (sorry, sorry, mixing up fandoms, there, I think that’s a excommunicable offense) so let me quantify this situation.

A while back, I watched the first two episodes of the reboot (with Christopher Eccleston) with some friends and liked them more than I thought I would. I meant to go back and continue with that, but my life often gets in the way of my life.

I’d never gotten into Doctor Who because it seemed weird and I didn’t think I’d GET it and it just seemed like one of those odd things that would confuse me if I tried to get involved so I thought it best if I stayed away. Like sports. Or playing an instrument. I AM OFTEN NOT GOOD AT THINGS THAT NORMAL PEOPLE EXCEL AT! It is a sad fact of life.

But then it became clear that almost every single intelligent person I knew was very, VERY into this show, and I needed to be watching it. Which almost made me NOT want to watch it – when everyone loves something, I immediately think, “Well, I hate fads” because I’m kind of a dick (I mean, you all seem to love that terrible Family Guy show, but the one time I turned it on to see what was up, they were making fun of domestic violence and I was so disgusted I never turned it on again, so what the hell, you guys?) but that backfired when everyone started ranting about how much they loved Serial and I avoided it for a while but then thought “What the hell” and downloaded it for a car trip and became SO OBSESSED with it and now look things up online about it ALL THE TIME because who DOESN’T want to know what Adnan and Hae really looked like, right?

OBSESSED OBSESSED!!! And I usually HATE being talked at! COULD NOT STOP LISTENING!

OBSESSED OBSESSED!!! And I usually HATE being talked at! COULD NOT STOP LISTENING!

And OMG, who DO we think killed her? I’m leaning one way, but I won’t tell you which in case you either haven’t listened yet (and if not, GET TO IT, SLAPPY!) or aren’t all the way done and don’t want me spoiling you. Also, my theory has more holes in it than Swiss cheese on the Titanic, you guys, and super-smart reporter friend at work and I were talking about it this weekend and his theory was SO SMART which is why he’s a reporter, I suppose, so now I am AT! A! LOSS! THERE ARE SO MANY WEIRD MOVING PARTS ON THIS CASE. Season two of Serial, please happen now, I want to fall headlong into another case immediately!

That was a very long digression.

ANYWAY. So I thought, “I will start watching this, what’s the worst that can happen” and now it’s been two weeks and I CAN NOT STOP.

NOW! Before I go ANY FURTHER! I have just started what I believe to be David Tennant’s last season so you are NOT ALLOWED to tell me anything that happens after this. I am trying very hard to stay spoiler-free. Unfortunately I’ve been a LITTLE spoiled, but that was before I started watching this and didn’t know I would ever care. So don’t comment all “In Episode Blah-Blah THE COMPANION IS REALLY A CYBERMAN IN DISGUISE” because I will be SO MAD at you!

Oh, BTW, I also finished "Arrested Development." I'm going to pretend the final season didn't happen. I wasn't impressed. Sorry, world.

Oh, BTW, I also finished “Arrested Development.” I’m going to pretend the final season didn’t happen. I wasn’t impressed. Sorry, world.

There’s really too much that I love about this show to go on about it in detail and you’re going to be split into two contingents, here, the ones that already KNOW it’s fantastic and the ones that don’t CARE and therefore have already tuned OUT, but I’m still going to ramble a bit. It’s my blog, I think I’m allowed.

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT DOCTOR WHO!

  • It’s intelligent and goofy all at once. It makes me laugh AND it makes me think. Sometimes there are mysteries and sometimes it’s just funny and sometimes (most of the time) it’s a little bit of both.
  • The science isn’t TOO sciency. Andreas picked on me when I said I was watching this because the science wasn’t realistic but I don’t know much about all the science, anyway, so if they were being all realistic about it, I wouldn’t know what was going on. It’s just dumbed-down (and, yes, Andreas, probably wrong) enough that it’s cool with me, yo. (Andreas has other issues with the show, he just told me. I’ll let him tell you in the comments. You know what’s great about him? Well, other than everything? Even if we totally disagree, we still respect and love one another. That’s why he’s my Andreas, you guys. And I miss him and his whole family in the land of the Finns like CRAZINESS every DAY.)
  • There is totally romance and emotional things and I am ALWAYS WEEPING. There was one episode where I had to take a SINCERE BREAK from watching the show because I was EMOTIONALLY DEVASTATED. That’s a good show. I love a good cry. So, so much. Like, break out the Kleenex, here I am, and I’m in seventh heaven. (OMG! Speaking of which, the dad from Seventh Heaven was a child molester? Who saw THAT one coming, right? DISTRESSING!)
  • The Doctor makes me INSANELY HAPPY. He is joyous and childlike but also serious with the weight of the world on his shoulders and he has all the best lines and I love love LOVE watching him. I really enjoyed Eccleston but OH, am I head-over-heels for Tennant and his happy Converse All-Stars and bouncy hair. (I knew I’d like him – I’ve seen him in a couple of other things, the best of which being Hamlet with Patrick Stewart, which was BRILLIANT. I am being very all-capsy today. Why the hell did they waste him so much in that awful Gracepoint? So disheartening.) Tennant is beyond amazing here. I am already pre-mourning his loss. I don’t know if I’ll be able to fall in love with another actor in this role like I’ve fallen in love with him here.

    Loooooove. The most charismatic human being alive, sincerely.

    Loooooove. The most charismatic human being alive, sincerely.

  • I was informed I was going to hate Rose, but I LOVED her. I want all Rose, all the time. Yes, yes, apparently there are Companions upcoming that I will love very much (Martha was fine, but underutilized, yeah? It kind of made me sad. Also, all her PINING. Ugh, I think probably I related to her too much, but she started to make me cringe) but right now I’m all “BRING ROSE BACK DAMMIT” and having some issues with her being gone.

    Good grief, Googling Rose was fraught with spoilery. Don't do that unless you know what's coming up, my little gingersnaps.

    Good grief, Googling Rose was fraught with spoilery. Don’t do that unless you know what’s coming up, my little gingersnaps.

  • There are so many shows I can see took a page from this. There are elements of Doctor Who in so many of my favorite shows – Quantum Leap, The X-Files, Buffy (and a lot of Whedon’s work, actually, now that I’m thinking about it), Supernatural, this weird time-travelly show called Voyagers I used to watch when I was little…and there was totally a scene in one episode where I was all “THAT IS SO THE AMBER SPYGLASS!” and it TOTALLY WAS, per a quote from one of the writers that I read. They also reference pop culture things all the time (I’m sure half of the time I miss it, but when they did a shout-out to J.K. Rowling I laughed my ass off) and it’s just the perfect sci-fi/horror/fantasy/thriller nerd show in the entire planet.
  • You constantly get to see British actors and you’re all “I know that person BUT FROM WHERE” and you look them up and you giggle. Of course I knew who Simon Pegg was, but Carey Mulligan looked so damn young I couldn’t place her. And I had no idea the weird brash British chick from the American version of The Office was famous because of Doctor Who. Kylie Minogue looks old. I remember her in scrunchies and slouch socks. Also, the kid that plays Spiderman and is dating Emma Stone was in one episode (he was young) and whenever anyone was at a loss for what to do I kept shouting at the screen “WHY AREN’T YOU SAVING EVERYONE, SPIDERMAN?” Only I pronounce it “Spidermen” like Phoebe did on Friends. Like it’s his last name. “Irving Spiderman.” “COME ON, SPIDERMAN, SAVE THE DOCTOR ALREADY! SHOOT WEBS OR SOMETHING!” I would shout, and giggle gleefully. This scared the cat.

    SAVE THEM, SPIDERMAN!!!

    SAVE THEM, SPIDERMAN!!!

  • “Blink” is the best episode I’ve seen so far. Closely followed by “Doomsday.” The first is a very good standalone if you are trying to get someone into the series. The second would make no sense to someone unless they were following the series closely. One of these two episodes is the aforementioned cry-myself-sick episode; you can decide which one on your own. Play along at home, kiddos. Fun times.

    Not recommended to watch this at midnight all alone like I did. YIKES. Totally kept hiding my face behind my hands.

    Not recommended to watch this at midnight all alone like I did. YIKES. Totally kept hiding my face behind my hands.

  • The baddies are awesome. Some are scary (WEEPING ANGELS! Those Host angel thingies from the Titanic Christmas special!) and some are kitschy and funny (if the best thing ever isn’t Cybermen and Daleks having a snark-off, I don’t know what is, I laughed until I almost peed) and some are VERY EVIL AND WICKED BUT ALSO FUN (OMG, The Master, right?) Some, however, are just the worst. Who thought it was a good idea to make the brilliant and multi-talented Mark Gatiss into a scorpion-thing? What was up with that woman who was playing a giant red spider-creature as if she was maybe a drag queen trying to project to the back row of a large theater? If they bring her back, I’m boycotting that episode. She was TERRIBLE. I have to imagine she was either some famous British actress everyone loves for no apparent reason, or one of the producer’s wives. I kept asking her to shush it up. Surprisingly, she didn’t seem to hear me.

    Ugh, PLEASE let this be the last time I see this thing.

    Ugh, PLEASE let this be the last time I see this thing.

I really need to end this.

TO SUM UP.

Big apologies, friends who were all “WHY THE HELL AREN’T YOU WATCHING DOCTOR WHO, AMY, YOU NUMBSKULL.” I am apparently attempting to remedy this by cramming it all in my head as fast as I can. Once this is done, the very kind Josh has informed me of the existence of Torchwood (oh, Captain Jack with your dimples, I can’t resist you) and other British shows I NEED to be watching, like, immediately. I think I know what I’ll be doing while Watertown is trapped in what seems to be some sort of eternal winter zone.

Oh, my. So pretty. So sexually and morally ambiguous.

Oh, my. So pretty. So sexually and morally ambiguous.

If you don’t spoil me in the comments, thank you. If you DO spoil me in the comments, I CURSE THEE AND THY OFFSPRING.

Also, I am willing to bet you before the month’s out I will be in possession of a tee-shirt that says “The Angels Have the Phone Box.” I have very little willpower and I need to sleep with that on my body.

Yep. It was really just a matter of time.

Allons-y. There are a lot of episodes left and they’re certainly not going to watch themselves.


I don’t know what to believe anymore, Scully. These people sure love their stories.

Today, we need to talk about a very serious subject, and that subject is MONSTERS.

No, not this kind of monsters. Anyway, he’s a sellout now. He’s the VEGGIE monster now, The Nephew tells me. Sigh.

I am a huge fan of cryptozoology. This is because I like the following: mysteries; animals; and MONSTERS. Also people that take crazy things too seriously. That always makes me laugh.

I think I’ve told you this story before, but I’ll tell you again, in case I didn’t (or in case it happened a long time ago): one time, I totally got to see a CHUPACABRA.

Hee! I almost totally got chupacabra, dude.

My friend C. and I went to the local fair once, and it’s not the fanciest fair, but I always like going to the fair. Here are things I like at the fair: fried dough; that game you can play where you throw a ball into a bingo board with holes in it and can win VALUABLE PRIZES (i.e. crappy knife sets and travel mugs that leak); seeing (and secretly petting, if no one’s looking) the animals in the farm barns; the craft tents (I’m a total sucker for crafts, I can’t even help myself); and, if I’m really, really lucky, and it’s a totally scuzzy fair, the sideshow tents.

YAY FAIR!

They’re not sideshows like sideshows used to be with bearded ladies and fire-eaters and things, because I think that might be frowned upon now. But sometimes there are totally entertaining things and you can see them for like a DOLLAR. Who’s willing to pay a dollar for the sight of weird things? ME ME ME, is who!

TOTALLY worth it!

So at the fair like ten years ago we saw many interesting things, like the lady who was half-snake, half-lady, which would have been more believable if she wasn’t sticking her head out of a cement snake-coil (and listen, C. and I laughed until we almost peed our pants when we ran into some friends of hers and the guy said he’d seen the snake-lady and yelled to her, “Wiggle your tail!” and she’d GLARED at him) (OH SIDE NOTE! Snake Lady was TOTALLY DIRECTING TRAFFIC when we were leaving the fair! And she was totally not even half a snake. She had legs and everything. RIP-OFF! RIP-OFF! So I had my car windows open because it was very hot and I was all, “HOLY HELL! THAT IS SNAKE LADY!” and she SNAPPED her head around and GLARED and me and C. and I totally drove away all fast and gasping with laughter. This was the best trip to the fair ever, no joke.)

This was TOTALLY the kind of tent, too. So misleading.

ANYWAY, I’m burying the chupacabra lead here. So we went into a tent that was all “there are many WONDERS in here but most WONDROUS is an AUTHENTIC CHUPACABRA!” and I was all, “C., I totally want to see a chupacabra! That IS wondrous” and she was like, “You are CORRECT” so in we went. (Were you wondering if C. is the best? Stop wondering, she is.)

Oh, in case you’re wondering, a chupacabra is like a Mexican vampire goat-sucker creature and the internet says it looks like this.

…and if the internet says it, you know it’s true.

(SIDE NOTE AGAIN! One time, Dad was talking about some animal in his wood lot that he didn’t know what it was, and I said, “Oh, probably it was a chupacabra” and he was like “No it was not. What is a chupacadabra.” And I said, “It is a Mexican vampire goat-sucker that may or may not exist. IT IS VERY SCARY. Not chupacadabra. It’s not a magic word. ChupaCABRA.” And he said, “I don’t think it was a chalupacobra, it didn’t even look like a snake OR Mexican food OR a vampire, and there are no goats for it to suck at the wood lot.”)

Chalupa! Cadabra! Cobra!

So we went into THE TENT OF THE CHUPACABRA, and it was filled with grainy photos of things that they said were REAL MONSTERS like the Loch Ness Monster and such, and jars of milky fluid with things floating in them they SAID were like two-headed cows but could really have been anything because the fluid was so opaque, so pretty much C. and I were all sarcastically “OOH AHH”ing everything we saw, because I’d seen more impressive displays at a high-school haunted house. Then we got to the end and there was a chicken-wire cage, and I was all “THERE IS THE CHUPACABRA!” and got very excited. Only there was nothing in the cage. And there was a HUGE HOLE in the bottom of the cage.

The cage looked like this, only the bottom was ALSO chicken-wire. With a chupacabra-sized hole in the bottom.

“Huh. Guess it escaped,” C. said, in a very dry tone, and I got one of the worst cases of giggles I’d ever gotten in my LIFE.

On our way out, the bored ticket-taker guy was telling irate chupacabra-seekers “Oh, SO sorry, I guess the chupacabra ESCAPED, no refunds” and I seriously giggled through the entire rest of the fair. BEST FAIR TRIP EVER. I really have to go back to the fair someday. I love that place. Next summer. When I’m gainfully employed and not a drain on society. I promise, future-Amy! To the fair we will go! Let this post serve as a REMINDER!

Anyway, WHOO, that was the longest intro for a post in the history of EVER. So the other day, I started seeing posts about a MONSTER that had washed ashore in New York City. Well, shit. I like monsters! So much!

MONSTER!

The New York Parks Department was all, “this is a pig that someone discarded on the beach after a cookout gone awry” and threw it away, but as you can see in the photo, pigs don’t usually have LONG FIVE-FINGERED FEETSIES, NY Parks Department. What kind of pigs are you cooking and discarding on the beach, you guys?

See? These are pig-feet. HOOVES. Pigs have HOOVES. Not FINGERS.

So now the whole internet’s a’buzzin’ about the Manhattan Monster and what IS it, and is it a CHUPACABRA?!??!? (See, if that damn fair-chupacabra hadn’t escaped, I could help with this identification, ugh, thanks a LOT, fair) but most people that know such things think it’s a dog or a raccoon that was submerged for a long time because apparently that makes all the hair fall off something’s body and it all bloat up and therefore look all gross like this.

(I totally want to call Dad and tell him they found a chupacabra in Manhattan but mostly I know what his response would be: “Of course they did. That place is FULL of Mexican food.”)

Then my investigation into the MANHATTAN MONSTER led me to this: the MONTAUK MONSTER. I’d really be an excellent internet researcher. Is that a job? If so, how do I apply for that?

ANOTHER MONSTER! We’re all about monsters here in New York. Rarrr.

Apparently back in 2008, this MONSTER was discovered in Montauk (that’s at the tip of Longuyland, you guys, if you want to say it like a local) and it kind of looks like it has a beak, so everyone was (again) all CHUPACABRA (what about “Mexican” goat-sucker vampire beastie is confusing to you all? We are not IN Mexico, why do you think everything is a chupacabra?)…

See? See how far we are from Mexico, amigos and amigas?

…but many people were called in to investigate and, again, they decided it was a waterlogged raccoon and it only looked like it had a beak because of decomposition. Again, it disappeared before anyone could do any closer investigation. I call total shenanigans on all this MONSTER-disappearance. I watched a LOT of X-Files in my misguided youth. I KNOW ABOUT GOVERNMENT COVERUPS YOU GUYS.

See? I found this book and everything. It’s totally a thing.

Then THAT investigative research I did led me to ANOTHER MONSTER. This one’s in Canada. I don’t talk enough about Canada, so I was very pleased that I got to include a CANADIAN monster. Hi, Canadian readers! You have a monster, too!

The CANADIAN monster is called a omajinaakoos (that means “ugly one” and is that not a FANTASTIC word? Yes, yes it is) and it washed ashore in a small town in Northern Ontario called – ready for another gorgeous word? – Kitchenuhmaykoosib in 2010. Here’s what it looked like:

…and ANOTHER monster! Whoo, SO MANY MONSTERS!

If you click on that link above, the article totally makes me laugh because the title is “‘Monster’ washes ashore in Canada: Is it the Chupacabra? No, it’s probably just a decomposed mink.” Heh. Way to shit on those people’s chupacabra parade, Christian Science Monitor.

So, yeah, AGAIN, everyone was all, “IT IS THE CHUPACABRA!” but also they were all “it is the legendary creature the omajinaakoos!” and people were called in to investigate and they were, AGAIN, all party-poopers and said it was probably a decomposed mink. SIGH. We are NEVER going to find the chupacabra ALL THE WAY NORTH LIKE THIS at this rate.

Aw, mink! I bet Andreas hates minks. He doesn’t like weasel-beasties.

So what have we learned today, my little cryptozoologist research assistants? Well…um…nothing. No, no. That’s not true. We DID learn that whenever something washes up on the shore, it looks like a chupacabra, no matter WHERE it washes up. Also, that a long submersion in the water does WEIRD-ASS things to a critter. WEIRD-ASS THINGS. Like making them look like chupacabras. And people really, really, REALLY want to believe in chupacabras. So, so badly. But if you happen to be walking along the beach all fleet-footed and fancy-free and come across a gross dead thing, here is my advice for you.

  1. DO NOT TOUCH IT. Dead things are gross and you don’t know where they’ve been.
  2. Feel free to take a lot of photos. Photos are awesome and also maybe you can sell them to places and make a little cashola, I don’t know.
  3. If you can think of a way to keep the dead thing, then do it, but don’t TOUCH the gross dead thing. Like, maybe get a shovel or a doggie bag or something. ’cause, gross. Because if you call the authorities about the dead thing, you’ll never see it again. The authorities are all COVERING THAT SHIT UP. CAHOOTS! CAHOOTERY!
  4. Do not immediately assume that thing is a chupacabra. You’re going to look like a weirdo. Well, unless you’re in Mexico. Then I guess you can come to that assumption more readily than if you were in, say, New York or a town with an awesome name in Canada.
  5. Come to Lucy’s Football and tell me all about the dead thing, because I LIVE for this shit. I LOVE IT SO.
  6. Tell the story of the time you found a super-awesome beach-thing forEVER. That’s your claim to fame now! You’re the dead-creature-finder! You’re FAMOUS*! (*you might not really be famous)

Happy Thursday, explorers of the dark side of science! Keep your eyes peeled! If all else fails, it can’t hurt to play this, my favorite X-Files themed song ever! (Bee tee dubs, Mulder and Scully totally investigated the chupacabra in the episode “El Mundo Gira” but it wasn’t a chupacabra, either. It was an out-of-control athlete’s foot fungus. YOU’RE WELCOME.) Oh, yeah, well, this looks like it’s a Jerry Springer episode but I promise you it’s actually a very very very VERY awesome song. You’ll love it. When have I led you astray, jellybeans?


A Land of Both Shadow and Substance, of Things and Ideas

The fourth season of True Blood starts tonight. I’ve been looking forward to this for almost a year, ever since season three ended. I’m a big fan of this show. Well, let’s get this out up front: I’m a fantasy/horror whore. (Whoo, say that three times fast.) Sci-fi and I are on friendly enough terms, but fantasy and horror and I have been going steady since we were introduced in junior high.
I have my last babysitter to thank for this. At the end of sixth grade, my mother went back to work, and decided that I was one year away from being old enough to be a latchkey kid, especially one with her younger brother as a ward. (To be fair, we didn’t get along, and it was a very serious concern that she would come home and find one or the other of us murdered in a creative way.) She found a local girl willing to watch us for the summer. It must have been a decent enough gig: I was twelve and didn’t want to do anything but read, and my brother was eight and I believe spent the entire summer riding up and down our street on his bike. She was a big reader, too. One day, I picked up one of her books.  No cover – she got them from garage sales, usually. I was looking for something new to start. “Can I read this?” I asked. She thought about it, and then acquiesced. “Yes, but if there’s anything in there you don’t think your mother would approve of you reading about – well, don’t tell her about it, ok?” she said.
It was Stephen King’s The Stand. I have had small affairs ever since, but horror and I are very, very serious about each other. Fantasy joined us a few years later. We’re very happy with one another. That summer, and for the next year or so, I burned through Stephen King books like a desert castaway coming upon an oasis. I still love Mr. King. I know he has his detractors, but I’ll read anything and everything he puts out, for the rest of his career. I’m not so blindly devoted I can’t see which of his books I like more than others (It and The Stand are my all-time favorites; not as big of a fan of Duma Key or Lisey’s Story; The Dark Tower series is in a class of its own for sheer depth and breadth and brilliance) but reading his work is always like coming home to an old friend. You know their voice and you love them, even if they’ve changed since last you met.
If there’s a horror or fantasy series on television, I will watch it. I’ll at least give it a chance. Sometimes I’ll give up – they’re not always good (coughKingdomHospitalcough) – but they’re usually something I’m interested enough in to watch.
I thought today, in honor of it being True Blood day, I’d list my top 10 favorite horror/fantasy/sci-fi series of all time.
There may be spoilers here. Probably not too recent; to be honest, I am approximately 7 months behind on almost all of the programs I watch right now, so you will probably be safe. But if you want to be sure you remain completely spoiler-free, you should stop reading now. Also – yes, I know A Game of Thrones is not on here, and a lot of you are going to be saying, it is the best thing ever, how can it have been left off? I haven’t seen it yet. I’m finishing the book first. There are a lot of things I had to leave off because I liked these ten best, as well.
#10         Fringe   This show didn’t wow me immediately. To be honest, I started watching it for Joshua Jackson. Yes, I have a Pacey thing. Be honest with yourself – you don’t know a lot of women who don’t. (And in real life, he’s educated, well-spoken, and seems kind. Bonus!) But once I got into it, I stayed. John Noble is a big part of that. His performance as Walter Bishop, and as his own doppelganger – has been nothing short of brilliant over the years. Give the man a Golden Globe, already. (Also, did I mention Pacey is in it? Because he is.)
#9           Supernatural     Hot boys with daddy issues fight supernatural creatures. I know. It sounds teeny-bopper stupid. It’s actually very intelligent; it’s got heart; it’s well-written; and ok, fine, Jensen Ackles is one of the most attractive men to ever grace a television screen, but that’s beside the point, really. The show is wonderful.
#8           Lost        This would have scored higher if I wasn’t one of the people who hated the ending. I know, I know, it was deep, and maybe I was too stupid to get it. Thing is, they promised everything would tie together at the end – and it didn’t. There’s nothing I hate more than making a promise, then not carrying through. That being said, when this show was good, it was brilliant. It had some of the best cliffhangers and season premieres in television history. And it turned everyone into armchair geeks the next morning, discussing theories, which I loved.
#7           The Walking Dead          This has only been on for one very short season, and it’s already an instant favorite. This show pulls no punches. It shows everything, no matter how gory. But it’s not just about gore. The writing and acting are top-notch; the cinematography is beautiful and desolate; and the stakes are so high you both imagine what you’d do in the same situation and thank your lucky stars you aren’t in that situation (yet! Mu-ha-ha.)
#6           Firefly   Heads up, I’m a huge Joss junkie. (Angel and Dollhouse almost made the cut, but not quite.) I didn’t watch this show when it aired – didn’t think I’d like it, because at the time, I didn’t think I liked sci-fi or westerns enough to like it. I should have trusted Joss. It’s a space western. You love each and every member of the crew. And it being cancelled after one season is one of the biggest travesties on television today. I can’t single out any one crew member as being my favorite, because I love them all, like the dysfunctional family you make for yourself out of friends, you know? And it has one of the best theme songs of all time.
#5           True Blood          I like the books; I’m obsessed with the series. Alan Ball gave it legs and let it develop on its own, and it’s wonderful. He listened to the fans and kept characters around that were murdered in the books because they were beloved. He made (thank you, Mr. Ball!) Eric more three-dimensional and a lot more interesting. (And gave him a haircut. And women around the world squeed.) And tying in vampires coming out with homosexuality in America was a brilliant touch. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
#4           Quantum Leap  I was young when this aired, but it remains one of the first shows I became truly invested in. I wanted Sam to find his way home. I cheered for him. I wept for him. And that last episode, and that final line of text, right before the credits – did anyone see this? Is it still spoiling, if the show went off the air like twenty years ago? “Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home.” Oh my word. Shows today wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole. So ahead of its time. Brilliant.
#3           The Twilight Zone            I think it’s a testament to this show that I am glued to the television when the marathons of this air every fourth of July and New Year’s. I even re-watch the episodes I’ve already seen. But the one I always re-watch, no matter what I’m doing, the one I plan my holiday around, is “Time Enough at Last” with Burgess Meredith. Best moment in Twilight Zone history, hands down, the last minute of that episode. It makes me cry just thinking about it, because I am a bookworm, and I wear glasses, and I know if I were the last person on Earth, reading would be all I would want to do. The first time I watched that I was wrecked. I walked around like the survivor of a natural disaster. I’d break into tears at the drop of a hat. That is lasting television and brilliance and just storytelling and imagination at its finest.
#2           The X-Files          Pretend this show ended before the shenanigans at the end occurred, with new agents, and Mulder and Scully having a kid, and Mulder missing, and less Scully. Wipe the slate clean of that. Now imagine “Home,” or “Humbug” (Mulder standing on the steps of the trailer, in profile, reviled by the circus geek as one of the “norms”) or “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space.” This show was brilliant, back when it was brilliant. Mulder and Scully’s chemistry was equaled by none; the stories were crisp and heart-rending and heart-racing; and sometimes people you loved died. It was true, and it was a show about finding what was true, and when it was good, it was better than good. It was goddamn regal.
#1           Buffy the Vampire Slayer             No show will ever live up to my gold-standard, my Buffy. I knew the characters. I lived their lives with them. I celebrated and cried with them. I hurt with them. I fell in love and fell out of love and was hurt with them. “The Body” remains, and will always remain, one of the most affecting hours of television ever aired. “Hush” managed brilliance without more than a couple of words for an entire hour. “Once More, with Feeling” was a freaking musical episode, back before everyone was doing those. I’ve seen the episodes so many times I can usually watch a few minutes of one and tell you its name and season its from. I see Buffy alumnae in other shows (even Buffy writers in other shows) and I melt a little. So, to you, Buffy, I give you the title: Best. Show. Ever.
I know, I know. I left off Star Trek. (Never watched it.) Same with Dr. Who. (Sorry. I’m a heathen.) But this is my top ten. And what’s great is, I could revisit this a year from now and it might be completely different.
Thoughts? Questions? Concerns? I’m curious, what would you have put on/left off?
Enjoy True Blood tonight – I’ll be the one quietly ogling Eric from my couch.

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