Tag Archives: V

Doctor Who – Thoughts on Its 49th Anniversary

I just finished watching “The Girl in the Fireplace” and felt an overwhelming urge to write some thoughts on Doctor Who. Turns out, today is the 49th anniversary of the very first episode airing, so my timing is perfect! (Spoilers through that episode – S2E4 – below!)

I’ll admit that this show has taken a while to hook me, and that’s even after starting with the more modern series. I’d watch an episode, be unimpressed, and then wait months to try another. I finally decided to try a bit harder to get through season one in a timely manner (since I’d heard things got better in season two) around episode six, “Dalek.” That was a decent episode, and even though the Dalek didn’t inspire as much fear on my part as its powers seemed to warrant, it was a vast improvement on the cartoonish villains of early episodes. “The Long Game” had good moments and bad, but the preview for the next episode made me delay getting back to the show (I started Pushing Daisies, did a three-week marathon through The Vampire Diaries, and dealt with the onslaught of new and returning fall shows instead).

The preview was misleading, however – when I finally got around to it, “Father’s Day” became my favorite episode thus far on the show (I’m a sucker for messing-with-personal-history time travel) – until the double whammy of “The Empty Child” and “The Doctor Dances” trumped it. I’d say those were the episodes that hooked me on the show. I think it was a combination of the charismatic Jack Harkness, added humor, the WWII setting (which I adore), and especially the Doctor’s joy when he realized everyone would live. It could have been a cheesy moment, but in that moment, I got it. The countless death the Doctor wades through, trying to save the world. Losing fellow comrades-in-arms, friends, his entire race – gaining victories at terrible costs. And finally one day, when all hope is lost, there is a solution that cures EVERYONE. As awesome as heartbreaking moments of this show are, it was that moment of joy that won me over.

“Boom Town” was a bit of a let-down after that, especially since it signaled the return of one of my least favorite villains. But “Bad Wolf” and “The Parting of the Ways” were great. I knew that Rose “was” Bad Wolf going into the episode, and that the Doctor would regenerate at the end, so that was a bit spoiled for me (plus knowing that Rose wasn’t really dead). The rifts on reality and game shows were fun, even if the only one I’d seen was The Weakest Link. The Daleks still weren’t that scary – maybe if I’d seen them in the classic show?

“The Christmas Invasion” was an interesting return to the modern-day story, this time with a new Doctor in tow. I’m pretty surprised how much Jackie and Mickey have been a part of the show going forward from the first episode of the new series. I’d honestly expected not to see them again after “Rose,” except maybe for a brief cameo when she stopped being a companion (any other sci-fi fans also think of Inara from Firefly whenever that word is used?), but I’m glad they’ve stuck around. More people tend to form a Buffy-like Scooby gang instead of being “two good ol’ boys, behind the wheel, chasing down bad guys” a la Supernatural (bonus points if you knew that quote was from Leverage). This episode also had an interesting parallel to The Avengers – the whole “we know there are aliens out there now, so we have to create weapons using alien technology to protect ourselves” thing. A disappointing turn for Harriet Jones’ character, though.

“New Earth” and “Tooth and Claw” were okay episodes, but definitely not among my favorites. It’s cool how they parallel episodes 2 and 3 of the first season – “New Earth” taking place not long after “The End of the World” and including a common villain and mysterious friend, while “Tooth and Claw” matches “The Unquiet Dead” with famous 19th-century characters and seemingly common supernatural character which were really a form of alien. So now that we’ve had ghosts, zombies, and werewolves, where are the vampires?

“School Reunion” featured Anthony Stewart Head at a school, but sadly no Buffy references (also, IMDb says that no other BtVS actors have shown up in the new series to date). Fans of classic Doctor Who were probably overjoyed to see Sarah Jane again, but I had no previous connection to her, so what I mostly gained was a look at the Doctor’s history. I did enjoy Mickey’s role in this episode, especially his identification with K-9 The robotic dog did seem like it belonged to a younger show, and I’m guessing this episode helped set up the children’s spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures. Unlike Jack Harkness with Torchwood, this episode gave me no inclination to watch the spin-off, and nary a push to watch the classic Doctor Who.

I don’t know how long it would have taken to get hooked on this show if I’d started with the first Doctor, as I tend not to enjoy older shows unless they’re ones I grew up watching. Terrible special effects, bland dialogue, and too-neatly wrapped storylines means I rarely watch any shows airing before the late 90s. While it isn’t exactly the same, I felt no need to watch the old Battlestar Galactica to enjoy the new one, no need to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie to enjoy the show, or the old V to enjoy the new V. I prefer the Addams Family movies to the show, and while the new Beauty and the Beast still makes me cringe too often, I couldn’t even make it through the pilot of the old show. I’m not saying newish is always better with shows and movies (I do love the older Star Wars more), but having done the bulk of my TV watching post 2007, I’ve come to expect a certain level of shiny, or I’m pulled out of the experience.

And now to talk about the episode that got me itching to write this post, “The Girl in the Fireplace.” As I mentioned before, I love episodes that play with time, and this one did it in such a cool way while also being a lovely standalone story. The preview for the episode was just awful, nothing that made me look forward to watching, but it was nice in a way since I was so pleasantly surprised. The idea of a spaceship riddled with portals to various times in one person’s life was so cool, as was Reinette falling in love with the Doctor over the course of her life, while to him it was only about one day. And walking around in each other’s memories created an instant connection that prevent this from being a simple one-episode crush. Plus drunk Doctor was hilarious.

The villains were just the right amount of creepy and logical and fascinating – I also loved the steampunk vibe. And although Rose was supposed to be mad at Mickey in this episode, I liked that they got along, even if their adventures on the ship paled in comparison to 18th century France. It was fun spotting Angel Coulby (Gwen on Merlin) in a scene, and apparently more actors from that show end up on other Who episodes. I knew very little about Madame de Pompadour before watching this episode, though I was proud that I understood Mickey’s reference to Camilla.

The ending of the episode was superb. I didn’t quite believe the Doctor would trap himself in France with no way out, but I think his emotions overruled his logic. (And what were Rose and Mickey supposed to do, stuck on the broke spaceship?) I think it would have been interesting to see what he’d do if he didn’t find the remaining portal right away. As it was, choosing to go back without her, just for a minute, seemed destined to go poorly. It should have been, at the most, several weeks (based on the previous times he’d used that portal, but the unevenness made me think of the Narnia time differences), but six years pass instead, and he arrives just in time to watch her coffin leave the palace. Her letter to him was so sweet and sad. My heart broke for him as he watched the fire burn out.

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TV Olympics: Favorite Hero/Villain Performance

In this penultimate round of the TV Olympics, we’re looking at actors who have excelled at playing both heroes and villains. Two distinct roles in two different shows were nominated, and now, based on those two performances, it’s time for you to judge which actor embraced their good guy and bad guy sides best.

I know there could have been other roles nominated for these actors, but I went with your suggestions – Nathan Fillion was nominated for Firefly, not Castle, and Jensen Ackles had more votes for Dark Angel than Smallville. There’s still room to nominate additional actors who have played both heroes and villains, but both roles must be on different TV shows (no movies), and the actor should be a main cast member in at least one of those shows.

Tomorrow, the final mini-poll event, cast-performed songs (nominate away, but avoid all-musical shows), will launch, and a week from then we will tally the medals and see who won the 2012 TV Olympics! The current top shows only have 6-8 medals so this is still very much any show’s game!

This poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 3 options. Please spread the word so your favorites will win medals, and be sure to vote in all our current Olympic polls!

What's your favorite hero/villain performance by the same actor on different shows? (Choose up to 3!)

  • Timothy Omundson - Carlton Lassiter (hero) on Psych, Phil Constantino (villain) on Jericho (45%, 878 Votes)
  • Jensen Ackles – Dean Winchester (hero) on Supernatural, Ben/X5-493 (villain) on Dark Angel (37%, 716 Votes)
  • Nathan Fillion - Malcolm Reynolds (hero) on Firefly, Caleb (villain) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (13%, 263 Votes)
  • Christian Kane - Eliot Spencer (hero) on Leverage, Lindsey McDonald (villain) on Angel (12%, 240 Votes)
  • Tim DeKay - Peter Burke (hero) on White Collar, Kieran Ryker (villain) on Chuck (12%, 225 Votes)
  • Leonard Nimoy - Spock (hero) on Star Trek, William Bell (villain) on Fringe (8%, 155 Votes)
  • Tiffani Thiessen - Elizabeth Burke (hero) on White Collar, Valerie Malone (villain) on Beverly Hills, 90210 (5%, 90 Votes)
  • Ross McCall – Joe Liebgott (hero) on Band of Brothers, Matthew Keller (villain) on White Collar (3%, 64 Votes)
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar - Buffy Summers (hero) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Siobhan Martin (villain) on Ringer (3%, 60 Votes)
  • Gina Torres - Zoe Washburne (hero) on Firefly, Jasmine (villain) on Angel (3%, 55 Votes)
  • Michael Emerson - Harold Finch (hero) on Person of Interest, Ben Linus (villain) on Lost (2%, 44 Votes)
  • Morena Baccarin - Inara Serra (hero) on Firefly, Anna (villain) on V (2%, 38 Votes)
  • Enrico Colantoni - Keith Mars (hero) on Veronica Mars, Elias (villain) on Person of Interest (1%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,951

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TV Olympics: Most Annoying Teenage Character

I almost didn’t make this one of the mini-polls for this event, because how do I score this? Should I award negative medals for the characters that win? Award the bottom three?

In the end, I decided to award the top three, as usual. Why give an award for a negative attribute? Because most of the time, these characters are the one or two flies in the ointment of an otherwise awesome show. They seem all the more annoying because the rest of the characters are so great. Diehard fans of a show tend to be the most annoyed by these characters, as well, and to know how annoying a character is (and therefore vote for him/her), you most likely have to be already watching the show.

But I know there are tons of annoying teens who aren’t on this list yet, because there were only a few nominations in this category, and there are tons of teen-dominated shows I don’t watch. So come on, Glee fans and CW watchers – let me know which ones I missed!

Poll will be open for one week, and you can vote for up to 3 annoying teens.

Who is the most annoying teenage character? (Choose up to 3!)

  • Connor - Angel (32%, 29 Votes)
  • Dawn - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (32%, 29 Votes)
  • Harmony - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (27%, 25 Votes)
  • Elena - The Vampire Diaries (23%, 21 Votes)
  • Dalia - Suburgatory (18%, 16 Votes)
  • Caroline - The Vampire Diaries (16%, 15 Votes)
  • Kim - 24 (15%, 14 Votes)
  • Juliet - Ringer (12%, 11 Votes)
  • Cassidy "Beaver" - Veronica Mars (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Tyler - V (7%, 6 Votes)
  • Jackie - Veronica Mars (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Cassidy - Nash Bridges (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Dana - Homeland (3%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 91

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Monday Madness: Favorite TV Villain

This Monday Madness, as nominated by Kathy Manno, we’re looking at TV villains! Some of these villains are pure evil, while others have a redeemable side and eventually begin working with the good guys – but please vote for them as a villain, not a hero! Some of these villains are so evil they can keep you awake at night, while others are so hilarious in their villainy that you almost want them to win.

This poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 10 of your favorite TV villains. Be sure to spread the word so your favorites will make it into the top 10! Fans have used Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, forums, Reddit, blogs, and chatboxes to get the word out about past polls. Get creative!

Even though there are 50-some options on this list, I know there are dozens of TV villains I left out! You can nominate villains I missed in the comments until Thursday night, and I may add them to the poll (villains from live-action scripted shows only, please).

Want more of a say in who makes it onto the poll each week? Be sure to follow me on Twitter or like TV Breakroom on Facebook, since I usually ask for nominations for the next Monday Madness the weekend before the new poll. Please help out with nominations! There are only so many shows I can watch personally, so I’m counting on you to fill me in!

Without further ado, here’s the poll for this week’s Monday Madness! Voting ends around 1AM June 25th.

Who is your favorite TV villain? (Choose up to 10!)

  • Crowley (Mark Sheppard) - Supernatural (30%, 630 Votes)
  • Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) - Sherlock (27%, 572 Votes)
  • Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) - Supernatural (25%, 535 Votes)
  • Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) - Once Upon a Time (18%, 382 Votes)
  • Regina Mills/Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) - Once Upon a Time (17%, 353 Votes)
  • Spike (James Marsters) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (16%, 344 Votes)
  • Alastair (Christopher Heyerdahl) - Supernatural (15%, 316 Votes)
  • Azazel (Fredric Lehne) - Supernatural (15%, 309 Votes)
  • Dick Roman (James Patrick Stuart) - Supernatural (14%, 306 Votes)
  • The Master (John Simm) - Doctor Who (11%, 229 Votes)
  • Angelus (David Boreanaz) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (11%, 227 Votes)
  • Matthew Keller (Ross McCall) - White Collar (11%, 223 Votes)
  • Ari Haswari (Rudolf Martin) - NCIS (10%, 215 Votes)
  • Drusilla (Juliet Landau) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (10%, 202 Votes)
  • Phil Constantino (Timothy Omundson) - Jericho (8%, 169 Votes)
  • Sylar (Zachary Quinto) - Heroes (7%, 151 Votes)
  • Mr. Yang (Ally Sheedy) - Psych (7%, 146 Votes)
  • Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) - The Vampire Diaries (7%, 138 Votes)
  • Cole Turner (Julian McMahon) - Charmed (6%, 133 Votes)
  • Jim Sterling (Mark Sheppard) - Leverage (6%, 125 Votes)
  • Klaus (Joseph Morgan) - The Vampire Diaries (6%, 123 Votes)
  • Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) - Lost (6%, 122 Votes)
  • Glory (Clare Kramer) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (6%, 120 Votes)
  • Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) - Glee (5%, 116 Votes)
  • The Smoking Man (William B. Davis) - X-Files (5%, 112 Votes)
  • George Foyet (C. Thomas Howell) - Criminal Minds (5%, 108 Votes)
  • The Gravedigger (Diedre Lovejoy) - Bones (5%, 103 Votes)
  • Mayor Wilkins (Harry Groener) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (5%, 103 Votes)
  • Lindsey McDonald (Christian Kane) - Angel (5%, 103 Votes)
  • Anson Fullerton (Jere Burns) - Burn Notice (5%, 100 Votes)
  • Lionel Luthor (John Glover) - Smallville (4%, 90 Votes)
  • Red John - The Mentalist (4%, 86 Votes)
  • Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare) - True Blood (4%, 80 Votes)
  • Katherine Pierce (Nina Dobrev) - The Vampire Diaries (4%, 80 Votes)
  • H.G. Wells (Jaime Murray) - Warehouse 13 (4%, 75 Votes)
  • Gormogon (Laurence Todd Rosenthal) - Bones (3%, 71 Votes)
  • The First - Buffy the Vampire Slayer (3%, 55 Votes)
  • J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) - Dallas (3%, 54 Votes)
  • Alexei Volkoff (Timothy Dalton) - Chuck (2%, 51 Votes)
  • Number Six (Tricia Helfer) - Battlestar Galactica (2%, 49 Votes)
  • Carla (Tricia Helfer) - Burn Notice (2%, 49 Votes)
  • Sheriff of Nottingham (Keith Allen) - Robin Hood (2%, 47 Votes)
  • Anna (Morena Baccarin) - V (2%, 43 Votes)
  • Daniel Shaw (Brandon Routh) - Chuck (2%, 43 Votes)
  • Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) - Suits (2%, 42 Votes)
  • The Chameleon (Christopher Lambert) NCIS: Los Angeles (2%, 42 Votes)
  • Jasmine (Gina Torres) - Angel (2%, 41 Votes)
  • Boss Hogg (Sorrell Booke) - The Dukes of Hazzard (2%, 41 Votes)
  • Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) - Revenge (2%, 39 Votes)
  • Nina Meyers (Sarah Clarke) - 24 (2%, 38 Votes)
  • Adalind Schade (Claire Coffee) - Grimm (2%, 37 Votes)
  • Marie Barone (Doris Roberts) - Everybody Loves Raymond (2%, 37 Votes)
  • Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) - Heroes (2%, 37 Votes)
  • Elias (Enrico Colantoni) - Person of Interest (2%, 35 Votes)
  • Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea) - The X-Files (2%, 34 Votes)
  • Maryann Forrester (Michelle Forbes) - True Blood (2%, 32 Votes)
  • James MacPherson (Roger Rees) - Warehouse 13 (1%, 31 Votes)
  • Siobhan Martin (Sarah Michelle Gellar) - Ringer (1%, 31 Votes)
  • Amanda (Melinda Clarke) - Nikita (1%, 29 Votes)
  • Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo) - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1%, 27 Votes)
  • Percy (Xander Berkeley) - Nikita (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Valerie Malone (Tiffani Thiessen) - Beverly Hills, 90210 (1%, 20 Votes)
  • Herrick (Jason Watkins) - Being Human (UK) (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Benny (Belita Moreno) - George Lopez (1%, 16 Votes)
  • Daniel Holtz (Keith Szarabajka) - Angel (1%, 15 Votes)
  • Weyoun (Jeffrey Combs) - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1%, 12 Votes)
  • Roan (Rob Stewart) - Nikita (0%, 9 Votes)
  • Roy Biggins (David Schramm) - Wings (0%, 8 Votes)
  • Peter Fleming (James Frain) - The Cape (0%, 7 Votes)
  • Kai Winn (Louise Fletcher) - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,112

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Monday Madness: Favorite Undead/Nonhuman Characters

This time on Monday Madness, it’s time to vote for your favorite undead/nonhuman characters! Whether they are ghosts, vampires, aliens, werewolves, or something a bit more unconventional, they add color and plot twists to every show they are a part of.

This poll will be open for one week, and you can choose up to 10 of your favorite undead or nonhuman characters. Be sure to spread the word so your favorites will make it into the top 10!

Even though there are 40 options on this list, I know there are many great characters I left out! As always, you can cast write-in ballots by leaving a comment. Want more of a say in who makes it onto the poll each week? Be sure to follow me on Twitter, since I usually ask for nominations for the next Monday Madness the weekend before the new poll.

Without further ado, here’s the poll for this week’s Monday Madness! Voting ends around 1AM April 23rd.

Update: this poll has ended – results post is here. You can vote on this week’s poll, Favorite Long-Running TV Show, here.

Who's your favorite undead/nonhuman character? (Choose up to 10)

  • Cameron from Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles (27%, 12,122 Votes)
  • Castiel from Supernatural (24%, 10,904 Votes)
  • The Doctor from Doctor Who (22%, 9,891 Votes)
  • Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (19%, 8,661 Votes)
  • Spock from Star Trek (10%, 4,451 Votes)
  • Teal'c from Stargate SG-1 (2%, 711 Votes)
  • Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (1%, 571 Votes)
  • Anya from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1%, 446 Votes)
  • Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation (1%, 445 Votes)
  • Oz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1%, 442 Votes)
  • Lorne from Angel (1%, 388 Votes)
  • Eric from True Blood (1%, 386 Votes)
  • Damon from The Vampire Diaries (1%, 340 Votes)
  • Illyria from Angel (1%, 328 Votes)
  • Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine (1%, 261 Votes)
  • Clark Kent from Smallville (1%, 235 Votes)
  • Number Six from Battlestar Galactica (0%, 218 Votes)
  • Monroe from Grimm (0%, 199 Votes)
  • Thing from The Addams Family (0%, 185 Votes)
  • George from Dead Like Me (0%, 181 Votes)
  • Stefan from The Vampire Diaries (0%, 177 Votes)
  • Mitchell from Being Human (UK) (0%, 154 Votes)
  • Red/Ruby from Once Upon a Time (0%, 139 Votes)
  • Ka D'Argo from Farscape (0%, 131 Votes)
  • George from Being Human (UK) (0%, 127 Votes)
  • Josh from Being Human (US) (0%, 123 Votes)
  • Bill from True Blood (0%, 121 Votes)
  • Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie (0%, 112 Votes)
  • Annie from Being Human (UK) (0%, 110 Votes)
  • Aiden from Being Human (US) (0%, 107 Votes)
  • Bo from Lost Girl (0%, 95 Votes)
  • Mork from Mork and Mindy (0%, 95 Votes)
  • Bob from The Dresden Files (0%, 79 Votes)
  • Josef from Moonlight (0%, 78 Votes)
  • Sally from Being Human (US) (0%, 77 Votes)
  • Herman from The Munsters (0%, 64 Votes)
  • Grandpa from The Munsters (0%, 60 Votes)
  • Anna from V (0%, 40 Votes)
  • Martin from My Favorite Martian (0%, 30 Votes)
  • Ryan from V (0%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 45,198

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Top 10 Canceled Shows That Should Return

The votes are in! A record-setting 9043 people voted for which shows they’d like to see return. Shows were limited to ones that had 3 seasons or less. Here are the results for TV Breakroom’s first-ever Monday Madness poll!

Number 10: Jericho

This show about a small town impacted by a nuclear event barely made it into the top 10, being only 3 votes away from #11, Dark Angel. After it was canceled following its freshman season, fans were able to bring it back for a 7-episode second season. The story continued in comic form, and there are still movie rumors spreading around.

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Monday Madness: What Canceled TV Show Should Return?

Since so many people stopped by this site for March Madness, I wanted to continue the whole Madness thing, this time with actual polls (so if things go crazy like they did with Psych vs. Castle I won’t have to count up 600 votes!). More people seemed to stop by to vote on Mondays, no matter when the bracket match ended, so I decided to continue the “M” trend with weekly match-ups/polls/competitions, and dubbed them “Monday Madness.”

This very first Monday Madness focuses on those beloved shows that ended far too quickly. Sometimes it was a lack of viewers, sometimes schedule changes and episode rearrangement, sometimes poor promotion and network mismanagement. But all of the shows have a dedication group of fans who mourn the small amount of episodes available.

But which of those canceled shows deserves to be brought back? I know most of the cast has moved on to other projects, but if you could, which shows would you bring back?

You can choose up to 10 of the thirty shows below, and if I’ve missed any of your favorites, let me know by voting in the comments! I’ve limited this poll to shows that had 3 seasons or less – if a show gets to four seasons, that usually means syndication, and I don’t want this to be about shows that made it, but the underdogs that need a second chance at life.

You’ll notice that Arrested Development is missing from this poll, because that show has already beat incredible odds to garner another season, thanks to Netflix!

I’ll announce the top 10 canceled shows that should return next week, so be sure to vote and pass along the link so your favorite shows can make it! Again, if I’ve missed a show (canceled with 3 seasons or less), vote in the comments, and I’ll total up those votes against the poll leaderboard.

Update: This poll is closed, and I will be posting about the top 10 soon. But the Monday Madness isn’t over! Go vote for your favorite quirky character!

Which TV show would you bring back if you could? (you can select up to 10)

  • Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles (77%, 6,990 Votes)
  • The Cape (42%, 3,779 Votes)
  • Firefly (23%, 2,052 Votes)
  • V (8%, 730 Votes)
  • Dollhouse (7%, 638 Votes)
  • Pushing Daisies (5%, 414 Votes)
  • Veronica Mars (4%, 389 Votes)
  • Dead Like Me (3%, 307 Votes)
  • Freaks and Geeks (3%, 278 Votes)
  • Jericho (3%, 241 Votes)
  • Dark Angel (3%, 238 Votes)
  • Better Off Ted (3%, 230 Votes)
  • FlashForward (2%, 224 Votes)
  • Wonderfalls (2%, 182 Votes)
  • Deadwood (2%, 172 Votes)
  • Life (2%, 158 Votes)
  • Tru Calling (2%, 151 Votes)
  • Moonlight (2%, 147 Votes)
  • Roswell (1%, 127 Votes)
  • My So-Called Life (1%, 119 Votes)
  • No Ordinary Family (1%, 110 Votes)
  • Party Down (1%, 106 Votes)
  • Robin Hood (BBC) (1%, 105 Votes)
  • Outsourced (1%, 98 Votes)
  • Journeyman (1%, 96 Votes)
  • Kings (1%, 81 Votes)
  • Life on Mars (1%, 72 Votes)
  • Samantha Who? (1%, 71 Votes)
  • Undeclared (1%, 61 Votes)
  • Life Unexpected (0%, 45 Votes)

Total Voters: 9,043

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Farewell to 2011

2011 has been a year of big changes for this blog. At the start of this year, I only had 3 posts and hadn’t even begun sharing the link. Now, I’m working on post 124 and get thousands of views every month.

As you can see, I’m also ending the year with a big change – a new layout. As much as I loved the look of the old layout, it was confusing for some and also probably hurting my chances of being found by search engines (with no text other than categories on the home page). I do plan to keep the same “wall of TV pics” look as my Twitter background, though. I’m still working through some of the kinks (like having to set images as featured images and adding read more links in ALL my old posts), so please let me know if you come across something that’s not working!

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Some Other Beginning’s End

Thanks to this week’s episode of The Office, I’ve had “Closing Time” (Semisonic) running through my head all evening. Especially haunting is the line: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

For some reason, I transferred that idea to TV shows. How many great shows exist because actors’ previous shows were canceled (either prematurely or not)?

To start off, let’s take a look at the poster child for all canceled shows: Firefly. Many of the actors have gone on to have guest spots and reoccurring roles in other shows, and some have even become regular cast members of other shows that were canceled in turn (Morena Baccarin in V, Summer Glau in The Cape, etc.). But out of the ashes of the Serenity rose two other great shows, now in their 4th and 5th seasons.

Nathan Fillion is Castle. It is impossible to imagine another actor playing his role on the show, and since Fillion influenced Stana Katic becoming his co-star, Beckett would be different as well.

While I suppose Chuck could have survived without Adam Baldwin playing John Casey, would we have wanted it to? His grunts and relationship with Morgan make the show.

Another show that came to mind immediately was Angel. It was canceled, and a year later, David Boreanaz ended up on Bones as Agent Seeley Booth. As much as I would have wanted Angel to continue, I think the actor is much more suited to the role of Booth.

The gap between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and How I Met Your Mother was a bit longer (2 years), but I love Alyson Hannigan in both. It seems a bit of a stretch to include Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ringer, since 15 seasons seems highly improbable for any show, and I don’t see Gellar “owning” Siobhan/Bridget yet. Anthony Stewart Head’s transition from Giles to King Uther on Merlin is more apt.

Dollhouse also pulls actors from the three ended shows above, but in a less lead-actor-to-lead-actor way. The show that really had to end so we could have Dollhouse was Battlestar Galactica. Tahmoh Penikett was vital to both shows.

I never watched Lost, so I don’t know how vital Michael Emerson’s role was to the show, but I can’t imagine Person of Interest without him.

And then there’s the whole issue of characters dying on one show only to wind up on another. Sometimes they “die” because of the new show. I could go on for hours listing examples of this, but this post would end up so full of spoilers that no one could read it without coming across something they didn’t know. So I’ll stay mum for now.

Less spoilery is characters moving away or otherwise disappearing from the scope of a show before the end to star in a different show. Jared Padalecki bowed out of Gilmore Girls two years before it ended to begin Supernatural. Jennifer Morrison joined How I Met Your Mother for a year between House and Once Upon a Time.

What shows that you loved had to die so you could get a different show to love?

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NCIS – Nature of the Beast

While NCIS didn’t end on much of a cliffhanger last year, it’s one of my favorite shows and I was really looking forward to spending time with the team again. Much like the season 7 opener, season 9 premieres with a Tony DiNozzo-centered episode in which he narrates what has happened over the intervening months.

Castle ended its first episode of the season with Beckett saying, “I remember everything.” NCIS starts off this episode with Tony saying, “I can’t remember any of it.”

Spoilers below!

Tony was knocked unconscious with a bullet to the vest. His weapon had been discharged twice, and there was blood at the scene, but no body. What was left behind was a bloody NCIS badge that wasn’t Tony’s.

Dr. Rachel Cranston (Kate Todd’s sister) urges him to go back to the beginning and try to put the pieces together, starting with his top-secret assignment from the new Secretary of the Navy. Tony wanted to bring the rest of the team in on the case, but Jarvis refused. Gibbs and the others gradually found out about the assignment, and Gibbs started bothering Jarvis about it and the microchips cut out of the arms of both Levin and Captain Wright. Tony’s assignment also leads him directly to E.J.

In present day, an FBI agent comes to the hospital and tries to talk to Tony. Agent Stratton is played by Scott Wolf, who played Chad Decker on V.

This was one of my favorite lines of the episode:

Tony DiNozzo: Who doesn’t like hot girls who carry guns?

I also loved Gibbs imitating Mike Franks’ voice. It’s nice to know he won’t be forgotten by the team. And Tony quoting three of Gibbs’ rules at Secretary Jarvis was amazing!

While the episode itself was a bit slow, the final twist sets things up nicely for a longer case that should occupy the next half season or more. Looking forward to a “real” episode next week, though!

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V – Saga Cut Short

I never watched the original V, but ABC’s two-season remake captured my attention and held it. I tuned in to the show because it starred Morena Baccarin, best known as Inara from Firefly. Having loved her on Firefly, it was eerie to see her as the villain, Anna, in this show. You can almost see the lizard-like creature underneath her skin.

Alan Tudyk (Wash from Firefly) also showed up in the first few episodes as Erica’s partner. Erica Evans, an FBI agent, is the main character of the show, but it took me a while to warm up to her. (I primarily knew the actor, Elizabeth Mitchell, from the Santa Clause movies, so it took a while for that image to fade.)

The premise of the show is that aliens invade the earth as peaceful Visitors (or Vs), claiming to want peace and sharing their technology. But they have a hidden agenda, buried as their lizard appearance is buried under human skin. And they haven’t just arrived – sleeper agents have been in place for decades.

Erica gradually gathers a small band of people who know what the Vs are truly like, and they work to set back their devious plans however they can. But she’s keeping the aliens’ true identity from her son, who’s fascinated by the Vs and eventually begins dating Anna’s daughter Lisa.

The show was excellent – great plot, stunning visuals, and with the exception of a few characters, an awesome cast. But it was canceled after only two short seasons (22 episodes total), so it never had a chance to grow into its true potential. I was especially looking forward to season 3, since they’d just gotten rid of my (and judging from reviews, many others’) least favorite character.

One of my favorite characters was the mercenary Kyle Hobbs, played by Charles Mesure. I’m looking forward to where the actor will go in the future.

While ABC put the first season on Hulu, they didn’t with the second season, which made it hard for viewers to catch up with the closely-connected episodes. I think that’s one significant reason why ratings declined.

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Renewals, Cancellations, and Finales

Wow – tons of shows are getting renewed or cancelled this week, and many are airing season finales. I keep checking for news and getting a rush of joy or sadness, and sometimes both. This year I dived headfirst into many new shows, and quite a few of them got cancelled.

Before this year, only two shows I watched as they aired had been cancelled with only one season – Fox’s 2009 summer medical drama, Mental (I had only started watching it at the urging of my sister) and another summer show, NBC’s excellent modern retelling of the story of David, Kings. (I watched the best-known one-season show, Firefly, years after it was off the air.) I picked up 3 new shows in 2009-2010 regular season: Community, NCIS: Los Angeles, and V – all got a second season. Even the two new shows I started watching in summer 2010, Covert Affairs and Rizzoli & Isles, will be back this summer.

This year I watched 6 new shows: The Cape, Detroit 1-8-7, Blue Bloods, No Ordinary Family, Outsourced, and Nikita. As of this moment, four have been cancelled, and the other two haven’t been renewed yet.

A quick recap of the verdicts on this season’s shows, by network:

ABC

They kept Castle, one of my favorite shows, but cancelled the three other shows I watch on the channel – Detroit 1-8-7, No Ordinary Family, and V. Of the three, I was most surprised by V’s cancellation. The show was intriguing, with an excellent cast, and the short seasons helped keep the integrated storylines comprehensive. I started watching it for the sole reason that it starred Morena Baccarin, aka Inara from Firefly (Alan Tudyk, aka Wash, was also in a few episodes). With this season’s finale ending the life of one of the most annoying characters on the show, I had high hopes for season 3. Too bad.

CBS

They seem to be waiting to see what the other networks do, as they haven’t revealed many verdicts. But I’m confident they’ll bring back the two not-yet-renewed shows I watch on the channel: Blue Bloods and NCIS: Los Angeles. NCIS, How I Met Your Mother, and The Big Bang Theory have already been renewed.

Fox

I’m only current with one show on the channel, House, and its renewal is hardly a surprise (it will likely be the final season, however). I’m glad they renewed Bones (on season two now and loving it!) and Fringe (hoping to try it soon), though.

NBC

I was shocked to find out less than a day after watching the season finale of Outsourced that they’d cancelled the show. I was really looking forward to season two. The Cape was dead as soon as they shortened the episode count from 13 to 10, but I plan to get Bear McCreary’s soundtrack to the show. The other Firefly alumni show, Chuck, has been picked up for a 13-episode final season (I love Chuck, but as more and more of the show’s characters move toward domestic bliss, I can see why they’re deciding to end it.) And of course, Community and The Office got renewed. Community’s finale does raise the question of whether they’ll bring back one of the main characters for season 3. And does the show have a 4 season limit due to the college setting?

The CW

I only watch one show on the channel, Nikita, and there’s no word yet on whether it’s been picked up for season two. I really hope so. My lineup needs more shows that focus on the overarching story instead of individual episodes, and the last few episodes of Nikita really kicked things up a notch.

In conclusion: Networks really seem to be abandoning rookie shows this year. I hope that space goes to other high-quality scripted shows and not endless rehashed versions of reality and competition shows.

And my other wish for the 2011-2012 season – don’t air The Big Bang Theory and Community in the same time slot!

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Bones vs. Smallville – Initial Thoughts

I know two episodes isn’t always enough to find out whether you’ll like a show, but since pilots often differ from typical episodes, I think most shows should be given at least two chances to hook a viewer’s interest (of course, some shows are so terrible they don’t deserve even one full episode, but I’m more talking about a “meh” reaction to a pilot). I know I wish I’d given Buffy more episodes to grow on me, though the fact that I sought out other Joss Whedon shows right afterward hints that it simply was vampires creeping me out.

With my supernaturally-inclined shows all over for good or for the season (The Cape, Merlin, V, No Ordinary Family, and Being Human), and having finished my Buffy/Angel marathon, it seemed like a good time to try out Smallville. So I watched the first two episodes. And yawned.

To be fair, it probably wasn’t a good idea to watch Smallville so soon after falling in love with the Buffyverse. Smallville had big shoes to fill, and true to its name, it didn’t measure up. It didn’t have humor. Or suspense. The dialog was stilted and predictable. Good characters had no flaws and bad ones, no virtues. The country setting didn’t appeal to me either.

Since I’d watched one Superman movie, I was able to pick up on the hints of mythic origin, and thought they were rather well done – until they decided to paint them bolder as if screaming “Get it?” at me. And since I didn’t really care about the elements that would make up Superman’s future (unlike the elements in the Star Wars prequels that made me enjoy them – R2D2, C-3PO, Palpatine’s rise to power, meeting Lars and Beru), I lacked a sense of wonder at their arrival.

I liked the music. Lex and Chloe seemed like they could become interesting characters. But that was it. I may try to make it to a third episode, if only for the fact that James Marsters (aka Spike) will eventually show up on the show. But considering that won’t happen until season 5, and he’s only in there for 14 episodes, I doubt it. Maybe if I’m really, really bored.

To make up for the disappointment of Smallville, I decided to try watching Bones instead. Yes, I already was watching eight other crime dramas, but only one of them focused on the FBI. I’d heard Bones was good several times. It starred David Boreanaz (aka Angel). And Netflix had every past season on watch instantly.

A few minutes into the pilot, I knew I had found a gem. The chemistry and arguments between Brennan and Booth reminded me of Castle and Beckett. The humor and camaraderie of Brennan’s team made me think of NCIS. (And Castle and NCIS just happen to be my two favorite crime dramas.) I watched the second episode just to make sure this show wasn’t too good to be true.

Already, with her brilliance, beauty, and social awkwardness, Dr. Temperance Brennan seems to have so many layers waiting to be uncovered. I love her “I don’t know what that means” line. And she’s a writer!

Seeing David Boreanaz in a different role is nice (since as Angel he tended to live in a perpetual state of angst, with brief periods of dorkiness and pure evil). Many shows tend to paint FBI agents as “by the book,” so it’s refreshing to have the cop being the one who goes by gut instinct.

Four episodes. Two shows. One clear winner.

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