Friday, July 13, 2007

How to Rot Your Brain

I need to take my mind off of coding for a while so I'm gonna talk to you about TV. And by "talk to you about TV," I mean, "tell you what TV to watch." And by "what TV to watch," I mean, "what torrents to download." If you don't know what "torrents" are, see my last post, or consult the Intertubes.

Before I became hideous with age, I used to watch TV. From 1997 to 2002, I watched the Sci Fi Channel almost exclusively (my interest in Sci Fi dates back to a happenstance in my very early youth, but that's another story for another post). Now for a little cable network history.

In 1998 the Sci Fi Channel fell under the ownership of Barry Diller (early head honcho at the Fox network; he now owns Ask, the Internet search engine nobody uses). With new management and a new budget, the network was relaunched in March of '99. The relaunch constituted a significant shift in programing towards original productions (the channel had hitherto produced very little original serial fiction; Mission Genesis (a.k.a Deepwater Black) and Welcome to Paradox were two early - and short-lived - shows). The relaunch was also marked by a complete brand overhaul. The volume of Sci Fi programing to which I was tuning in at that time, coupled with my impressionable age, has left me with an incredibly strong emotional attachment to the Sci Fi 1999-2002 brand. It is still the strongest of any brand for me. I imagine it will be for the rest of my life. It was also a really creative and well-executed brand (the rebrand was handled by a guy who went on to co-found Psyop, the design house that did the Happiness Factory Coke commercial).

But back to the shows. The channel went on to produce/run a number of fantastic shows (and some not-so-fantastic ones). Here, in brief, are the best of the Aught's, the acquisitions of which will give you something to do with the high-speed Internet connection that you're not otherwise abusing to its full potential:

  • Farscape. Classic. Only bother with the first 3 seasons. Oh god, this show is key.
  • Lexx. Very weird. Emphasis on the "very" and on the "weird." Funny, sexy, creative, and worth a watch. You can skip the 3rd season if you want (counting the four 2-hour movies as season 1). There's a torrent out there with 21 gigs of all the Lexx goodness to be had.
  • Firefly. If you haven't yet fallen prey to Firefly's awesomeness, I recommend you offer yourself now. There are only 13 episodes, plus the movie Serenity (which is just OK).
  • Battlestar Galactica. Stop giving me that look. Yes, you have to watch Battlestar. I'm sorry, I'll admit no excuses. Then you can tell all your friends how entirely they need to watch Battlestar Galactica. Won't it be wonderful? Emphasis on the "yes, it will be wonderful."
Come back when you've watched all of those and we can move on to Great Comedies That Only Lasted Three Seasons. I won't give too much away but to say that one of them rhythms with Shmarrested Shmevelopment. See you then!