Yes, I own a Blu-Ray player and yes, that makes me better than those of you who don’t. With that out of the way, I’ll begin my nerdapalooza for the day. Today, I decided to finally order some DVDs I’ve been coveting. The first thing in my in-box was the Battlestar Galactica Complete Series on Blu-Ray. I got into this show last summer, when the library finally had the first disc of the miniseries available. I had always heard only good things about this show, and while I love comic books and superheroes, the rest of the sci-fi genre was never really my forte. However, I was curious. Plus, Lee Adama always looked kinda hot to me:
See? Swoon! So I watched the disc late after work one night and managed to get through the entire mini-series. It took about 45 minutes for me to get into the story and all of the “sci-fi” traits, like multiple planets and interplanetary alliances, different religions, and robotic beings that look, sound, and have sex like humans (albeit, with glowing red spines), but as soon as I got past my initial sci-fi blocks, I fell in love. I mean, this show works on so many different levels. The people of these planets believe in what we refer to as the Roman gods, though the Cylons (the robots) have a small faction that believe in what seems to be our monotheistic Christian God. Also, the presidential lineage and the clear political allegory resonates very well, especially given that the series aired almost entirely during Bush’s tenure (the final ten episodes aired in Obama’s first 100 days in office). These are but two of the vast way in which this show works on a symbolic level.
I became so obsessed that I had to reserve every disc from the library and would devour entire discs in one sitting. The introduction of Sam? Hello, Shmarker’s babydaddy!
See? What more reason do you need to watch this show than the hot boys? Well, what about Mary McDonnell’s performance? The Susan Lucci of sci-fi, this fraktastic actress never even got an Emmy nom! However, she brings a powerful humanity and vulnerability to such an incredibly written role. Seriously, watch the show just to watch how an actor can take a role and make it even better that what is on the page simply by being fantastic.
Needless to say, I feel as if this show is worth the hefty price tag. While the series finale was highly controversial, I feel as if it totally worked. I felt like it was beautifully rendered and expertly executed.
Next on my geek-out, I added Pushing Daisies Season Two, easily one of my favorite shows of all time. Creator Bryan Fuller cast the fabulous Lee Pace, from his cancelled too soon Wonderfalls, as the role of Ned, a man that can reanimate the dead, but with a hefty caveat: he can only allow the person to live again for up to a minute, or else someone else will die, and anytime he touches the reanimated person, they will be dead forever. In the first season, he brought his childhood sweetheart back from the dead, and they tried to make their love work without any sort of physical contact, all while solving murder mysteries. The second season continued in this thread, but introduced recurring storylines. The most creative show on television in some time, this show was a victim of many things: an inability to create niche advertising, an eviction from prime time for nine months after the Writer’s Strike, and an inability to charm the masses. However, look at the visuals in the preview for the first episode:
Stunning. So the second, and final, season is well with the small price tag.
The final thing I added to my cart was an HBO show I was always curious about but never looked into until my roommate rented the first disk from the library: In Treatment. Holy. Cow. This show is B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T Brilliant. While not available on Blu-Ray, this show is still brilliant. For those unaware, each show is 30 minutes long and the season aired Monday through Friday, with each episode acting as a single session on the corresponding day. Every Monday episode featured the fabulous Melissa George (Vaughn’s wife from Alias, another perennial favorite), Tuesdays are Blair Underwood’s story, etc. On Friday, Paul, the therapist played by Gabriel Byrne, goes to his therapist, whom he had not seen in ten years. The show takes place only in Paul’s office (with the exception of when he sees his therapist), and there are typically only two actors per episode.
Sounds like it could be boring, right? Wrong! I thought the same thing. However, after giving just the first episode a shot, I discovered that this was by far the most interesting thing HBO has done, to date. They took a very simple concept and launched one of the most creatively driven and well-acted series to ever grace the small screen. While this show is actually a remake of an Israeli television production, the American version is laced with subtle nuances that really build the characters and their impacts on Paul.
I’ve only seen the first disc, but I had to buy it. I couldn’t wait for the weeks the library can take to get the discs to me. It is THAT GOOD.
So, be like me! Go waste all of your disposable income on DVDs.