Show Me the Romance

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Archive for the tag “Battlestar Galactica”

TV Show Review: Farscape (1999-2004)

Farscape
TV Show (4 seasons, plus a 3 hour miniseries to wrap it all up)
Starring Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Virginia Hey, Anthony Simcoe, Gigi Edgley, Wayne Pygram, and the Jim Henson Creature Shop)

For anyone who looks back to the days of the original Star Wars with longing–swashbuckling adventure, quotable dialogue, and a crackling romance among the stars–please do yourself a favor and check out Farscape. There’s a wonderful inventiveness about this series that takes all our jaded ideas about space stories and throws them out the air lock. Science fiction need not be relentlessly depressing to be compelling (hear that Battlestar Galactica?). Bring on Harvey!

The Premise

American astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) gets sucked through a wormhole and shot into really, really deep space. A shipful of escaped convicts captures him, but before long, they decide he won’t be much help in their mission to clear their names. As intelligent, funny, and attractive as Crichton might be to the rest of us, his shipmates decide humans must be a hopelessly substandard species. No one shares that opinion more than Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black), the hard-as-nails warrior chick from a genetically engineered species. She’s their enemy until her own people brand her as irreversibly contaminated by contact with the convicts. With Crichton grappling with the unimagined wonders around him, and Aeryn despising him and everyone else on board Moya (think giant, space-going whale-like creature with convenient accommodations for passengers), the adventure begins.

The Pain

Although the entire series benefits from its overarching storyline, there are a few random episodes that do nothing to forward the story, and are even a little boring. Also, bear with the antagonist in the first few episodes–a far, far better villain shows up at the end of season one. Scorpius (Wayne Pygram) is on par with Darth Vader–and actually, he’s better.


The Payoff

Chemistry: John and Aeryn has it. Their roller-coaster romance takes a nice long time developing (thanks to Aeryn’s genetic programming to avoid love at all costs), suffers some soap-operaish melodrama halfway through Season 3 and early in Season 4, but gets back on track in plenty of time to finish strong. Cheer, laugh, skip a heartbeat...it’s all fair game for this fearless series.

Rating:

5 out of 5 arrows

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Anime Review: Special A (2008)

Special A
Anime series
(24 episodes with English subtitles)
To watch, go to http://www.watchanimeon.com/anime/special-a/

I wish American television producers would take a cue from their Japanese counterparts when it comes to giving us programs with pre-written, overarching storylines scripted for a set number of seasons. Anyone who endured the amnesiac Battlestar Galactica writers winging their way through 4+ seasons of “what if we did THIS?” knows the pain of seeing a golden cast and premise ruined by writers with a sandbox complex. When I want to watch a TV show with a satisfying beginning, middle, and end, I turn to anime. And when it comes to romance anime, Special A isn’t a bad way to go.

The Premise
Overachieving high school student Hikari dreams of beating her number one rival: Kei, the boy who’s beaten her at everything she’s tried since they were kids. Both Kei and Hikari belong to the “Special A” class, a group made up of the seven best students in their high school (other classes are referred to as A, B, C, etc). Through the Special A’s hijinks and misadventures, Hikari is so busy trying to out-smart, out-race, out-wrestle the unbeatable Kei that she doesn’t see the most important thing: Kei loves her.

The Pain
Any one who’s watched shojo anime knows what to expect: meddling adults, naive heroine, over-the-top explosions, exaggerated reactions and implausible secrets…at least some of it is funny.

The Payoff
This series has charming characters and some truly beautiful artwork. Hikari may not know a thing about love, but she’s pretty kickass otherwise, and it isn’t hard to see why Kei loves her. As for that beginning, middle, and end I mentioned earlier? All right here.

Rating:

3 out of 5 arrows

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