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Same Adam time. Same Adam channel.

April 24, 2014

 

Issue 19
Vol 3

USS_Defiant_firing_phaser_cannons

Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them, Volley’d and thunder’d; Storm’d at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of Death, Into the mouth of Hell, Rode the six hundred.

Its a great stanza in a depressing poem about the disastrous charge of a light Calvary unit in a war that American history doesn’t cover: The Crimean War. I don’t know much about that war but that poem is bad ass. I first hear it on one of my favorite episodes in my favorite TV show.

You know what? This entire post is about TV shows.

Yeah. Tune in and get comfortable. The show is about to start.

To Boldly go where no one has gone before…

If I had to live in a Sci-Fi universe I would live in the Star Trek universe. Hands down. No questions asked. Mass Effect Universe is a distant second. Star Trek offers a world where I know I could live just as myself. I would most likely join Star Fleet but I would be content just doing planetary surveys of the Beta Quadrant. I wouldn’t have to be in the thick of the conflict the way I would want to be in the Mass Effect Universe or Star Wars universe. No, I could be a writer on earth, a citizen of the Federation, and develope holodeck programs and stories.

But I am pretty particular to the series that I enjoyed. The original series has its charm but never held my interest. Voyager was entertaining but relied too much on the Borg. Then there is the Next Generation which is a good show but is a bit on the corny side for me. Then there was…

0

Deep Space Nine. Set on a space station orbiting a worm hole in a political hotbed of activity. The Star Fleet Captain, Captain Benjamin Sisko, a widower with a teenaged son is stationed far away from earth and everything they both know and enjoy. On one side is the recently freed Bajorian people, a deeply religious people that were subjugated by the ruthless and Fascist Caucasians. They fought for decades for their independence and once they finally got it they invited the Federation to help them along until they got back on their own two feet. At first they meet him with annoyance but find that he is a man that has been chosen by the “Prophets” (Gods to the Bajorian people) to be the Emissary. He is in effect the space pope. On the other side is the worm hole an beyond that is a link to the otherside of the galaxy and on that other side is the opposite of the United Federation of Planets, the Dominion. A collection of advanced aliens hellbent on controlling the galaxy. There is a war which is one of the main focus points in the second half of the series.

That doesn’t do the show justice though. Characters are introduced in the beginning and as the show goes on they fall in love, grew up, be come friends and so much more. Take Nog, for example. In the first episode he is a young Ferangi (a race of people that focus on business and money) that is caught stealing. Through the entire run of the show he befriends Ben Sisko’s son, Jake, overcomes his fears and improves his life through a lot of hard work. He eventually joins Star Fleet and gets promoted to Ltjg by the last episodes. A lot of TV shows don’t have a lot of character growth. There is all out war and we get to see the tactical side of the federation. We see how the Federation is perceived. We see so much and its a lot of fun.

When I tell people this though I get the same reaction. “Ugh…really? I hate DS9!” Then there is an awkward silence. “Well I know why you liked it! Sisko is black.” They say this with the confidence only stupidity and shallowness can bring. Then there is another awkward silence as i stare at them because they said the dumbest thing I could think of and I am holding back the torrents of rage.

I won’t go into why this is stupid.

There is a recurring character in the middle part of the series named Michael Eddington who gains Sisko’s trust and latter betrays that trust, leaves Starfleet and joins a rebel organization called the Maquis. There is considerable back story to the Maquis and thier conflict. In the 5th season there was an episode called For the Uniform. The Maquis start poisoning planets and start making trouble for both the Cardassian Union and the Federation. With this poison the planets become uninhabitable for the Cardassians thus leaving them open for human resettlement. Sisko makes a bold choice and you can watch it here.

The episode is good, one of the best in the series. Maybe in the top 15. There was a lot of blow back from this episode, a Starfleet captain who was supposed to be a paragon of righteousness and morality just poisoned the planet and threatens to do the same to the rest of the Maquis planets. Making them refugees. Eddington has a point he is right about Sisko and Sisko isn’t wrong either, though his actions maybe extreme. This nuanced and thought provoking episode challenges the star trek viewer, the fan. I haven’t seen many of the original series or even TNG but what I have seen in those episodes there was always a very definite “right” and “wrong” and it was easy to see and understand. Those series were about giving humanity hope for a better future and challenging us to do and to be better to each other. DS9 dared to show the darker, more human side of an alien universe and asked a lot of subtle questions about War, rights, religion and predetermination.

What I will say is that I do love DS9 and it was the wonderfully crafted stories and amazing acting that really drew me in and I would recommend it to anyone…

Time Sink

Open your desktop. Go ahead and do it. Clean out the desk and see if you can find a strange totally metal piece. Now if you just turned your machine off it should be pretty hot. It should be sitting in the middle of the motherboard and on top of the CPU. Its called a heat sink and simply put its job is to suck up heat. TV’s only job is entertainment, though you could make the argument that it also provides passive education. What it really does is suck up time, its a Time Sink.

When I worked on the ship I was often so tired that doing anything besides watching TV was asking too much. So I would veg-out and watch hours of pointless bullshit. I joined a gym and started working out but most of my free time was filled with mindless TV watching. Then I got a DVR and though I had to share it with my roommates I had enough space to schedule and watch only TV shows that I wanted to watch.

This makes watching, or not watching TV, so much easier. Now because of a recent purchase (a home media server) my DVR and DVDs I only watch what I want to watch. I know I should get Netflix but I don’t want to. What I have is enough for now.

What these tools allow me to do is to watch TV with precision instead of using it to fill the dead moments between activities. I don’t hate TV but I know that I get so much less done when its on. I have increased the amount that I write, the amount that I study and read thanks to the time I don’t watch TV. Hell I even play video games less (now I save it for the weekends). I am not sure how this will affect things going forward but lets find out.

TV Show Rankings

Why? Two seasons 1) I am writing this to share my ideas and views about the world. A detailed list of my favorite TV shows seems to fit right in. 2) I like to do three sections and a list is easy/lazy writing. What do you want? This shit is free people.

5)…

Wait…this is hard. Only 3 TV shows come to mind. The Simpsons is number one for obvious reasons. I would of course revisit Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and there is the best TV show I have ever seen, the Wire. I just need 2 more TV shows to round out the top 5 or heaven forbid I could go for the top 10 and find 7 more.

Lets…lets start over…

Top 10 TV Shows according to Adam Milton

10)…

Um…fuck…Lets see Girls is a good TV show but I doubt I will watch that show in ten years. Rick and Morty that show feels like a classic for me but…but its only 7 or so episodes in. Its too early to tale. It should be shitty next year. How about Venture Bros? Its so convoluted and self-referential that its hard to keep up with if you haven’t been watching. So many of you would never watch that TV show either let alone get the references that it brings up. Archer? Its funny but too frat-boyish to last for me. Babylon 5? The most cult show that I own or love. It inspired hate for some reason. Scrubs? OK that’s the 4th TV show but that last one… Hell i still have to rank them!

What about…Community? or 30 Rock? West Wing? Newsroom? Everybody Hates Chirs? Kill of the Hill? Beast Wars? Those all have good episodes but if push came to shove I couldn’t put them in a top ten, let alone a top five. How about the Oblongs a show about a deformed family living in a toxic waste saturated valley? You mean West Virginia?

Too...too soon?

Too…too soon?

Or how about the Critic? Both those shows were canceled after a season.

This is way…WAY…harder than I expected. There are so many TV shows that I loved. What about the ones I hate or think are overrated? How I met your mother? Big Bang Theroy? NCIS? Great American Race? or ANYTHING ELSE ON CBS. (Really it is just the most bland, boring TV channel on earth. Its basically the White Bread of TV). Have you honestly sat down and watched CSI: Miami? It is just awful in a real and tangible way.

There is a small list of TV shows that everyone else loves but I either straight up hate or haven’t seen. There is Dexter. That show is corny and dumb. There I said it. Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Mad Men are good TV shows but I just can’t bring myself to watch them. I can’t put my finger on it. I always tell people that I have to stop my TV watching some where and this is where I draw the line. I also have seen several seasons of breaking bad and Boardwalk empire but once I watch a season I take months long breaks and watch them all over again.

If you like this show never visit my blog again.

If you like this show never visit my blog again.

I mentioned Beast Wars in the paragrpah’s above. And I have talked about it in my older blogs. Specifically the episode Code of Hero from the second season. In beginning of the episode Dinobot is sitting in his room, kneeling before his sword about to commit suicide because of a mistake he made before. He discovers a plot to destroy a primitive humanity and sacrifices himself to save humanity and the future of the entire universe, undoing a mistake he made in his ultimate moment of weakness. This single episode from a throw away cartoon from the mid-90s impacted me more than any other TV show and perhaps media (counting TV, Movies, Comics, Video games and Music).

The question which once haunted my being has been answered. The future is not fixed, and my choices are my own... and yet, how ironic! For I now find, I have no choice at all! I am warrior... let the battle be joined.

“The question which once haunted my being has been answered. The future is not fixed, and my choices are my own… and yet, how ironic! For I now find, I have no choice at all! I am warrior… let the battle be joined.”

Or there was an episode of the Batman: The Animated Series where the Scarecrow injected Batman with something that made him doubt himself. Batman overcomes his fear (naturally) and tracks down the Scarecrow. Poisoning him Batman sneaks up and terrifies the scarecrow and looms over him like some demon, born from the pit of hell itself. Batman, enhanced by Scarecrows own poisons, becomes the terrifying effigy of his own fears and Batman’s own creation.

There was an episode of the West Wing where President Bartlett couldn’t answer the question of how he beat his first political opponent. Toby asks him in closed quarters how he beat him. Bartlet can’t remember however and goes to a party anyway. There he meets a radio talk host and he preceded to break her off with his own brand of caustic wisdom. Without looking he says to Toby, a cantankerous idealist, “That’s how I did it.”

Then there is the Simpsons. More than any other TV show, or thing really, has influenced my sense of humor like the Simpsons. I cannot began to tell you my favorite scenes or quotes from the show in the 20+ years of its run there is just to many classic moments to pick just one. And if I wrote about any of them they would be lost in translation. That show is brilliant in so many ways and I cannot thank the creator, Matt Groening enough. I’m sure my parents would kill him however.

I have talked about the Wire before. Deep Space Nine is my favorite TV show. My personal favorite. But the Wire is hands down the best show I have ever seen and would finish as my second favorite TV show of all time. Its not for everyone and I know a lot of people who wouldn’t give it much of a chance past the first episode but you should stick through the first 3 episodes. If you are not hooked then I will leave you alone.

There is an episode in the first season, after the boyfriend of Omar is brutally murdered by a criminal organization’s ruthless hit men. Seeking revenge Omar hunts down those in question. The viewer has all but forgotten about the recently introduced Omar. A mob enforcer named “Stickum” is given a promotion earlier in the episode. Now, in the middle of the night, is out for blood. Attempting to murder another set or drug dealers he is backed up my Wee-Bey, another particularly ruthless enforcer. He is walking down the street, gun in his glove hand and Stickum’s attention is caught by a mysterious figure saying “Hey now” out of nowhere. His chest is turned into slurry as the pellets from Omar’s shotgun blast turn him up. Stepping out of the shadows, like an avenging angel, Omar precedes to open fire on Wee-bay wounding him. He then steps back into the shadows and shouts, his voice echoing against the Row houses in the night as he whistles “Farmer in the Dell” and what did he say…

wallpaper-omar-lesson-1600

Excellence.

~Adam

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