Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kill Your Television

Why start a television blog? Better yet, why start one just as the "New Golden Age of Television" of the '00s appears to have come to a close with the last episodes of Lost, 24, and Law & Order (and to some extent with Simon Cowell leaving American Idol) having aired recently?

For the moment, this blog will only be about a couple of shows that have been off the air for quite some time that I will watch and write about. I have watched one of these series several times all the way through. The other I have not seen but a few episodes. Once I get into a comfortable groove, I may add shows that are starting up new seasons in the summer. I'm not making any concrete decisions on expansion yet, but I'm leaving room for the possibility.

First, I should write a little bit about who I am and what qualifications (or lack there of) that I have for writing about television. For the past three and a half years, I have been a writer, editor, and podcast host at The Comic Addiction, a comic book review and editorial website. As a result, I've logged in a lot of hours writing about a form of storybased visual media. Like a good comic book title, a well-produced television series has serialized storytelling and solid continuity. They are cousins in a way. I did write television reviews a few years ago over at the blog that I share with my wife, nerd[heart]geek. It was a fun experiment and I want to try doing so again.

As I mentioned, I'll begin Cultural Wormhole by reviewing a show that I've seen in its entirety and a one that I have not. The former will be Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Star Trek does conjure up some fairly deserved, preconceived attitudes when mentioned. However, DS9 wasn't like all the other Trek shows and in many ways it was a precursor to some of the shows that followed it such as Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Firefly, and even Lost. Granted, Babylon 5 aired at the same time and many will argue that it is just as deserving of such praise (some of those folks would say more deserving), but having seen both series, I will have to say that I prefer DS9. I think that DS9 had better acting, production, story flexibility, and accessibility. Also, it's the show that Ronald D. Moore really developed the writing chops that we got to enjoy on Battlestar Galactica.

My plan is to review each episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine without any spoilers for what happens later in the series for the first half of each post. This will be for the benefit of anyone that hasn't seen the show and wants to follow along. I will indicate when the post enters realm of being written from the perspective of having seen the show in its entirety in some fashion. I haven't decided how, but it will be obvious. I would ask all commenting to be spoiler free and only about the episode that is being written about in that particular post or episodes that were before it.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the show that I have not seen but for a handful of early episodes. One would think that I should have turned in my geek card as a result, but I'm attempting to change this matter. Buffy and Angel were well into their respective runs, several seasons in, before I really realized their cultural impacts. Also, my post-college television watching was extremely erratic. In the middle of the '00s I came to really appreciate Joss Whedon's writing. I gleefully devoured the Firefly DVD boxset and I really enjoyed his tenure as the writer of Astonishing X-Men. Despite its various flaws, I liked Dollhouse when it didn't focus on Echo's mission of the week and stuck with the series mythology. Also, I can't forget the amount of laughter that Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog gave me. As a result, I think I owe it to Mr. Whedon, to go back and watch his first big hit from the beginning.

Since I haven't seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a whole, there will not have to be the same considerations per review as with DS9. However, the comments section rules will be the same; all commenting is to be spoiler free and only about the episode that is being written about in that particular post or episodes that were before it.

As far as frequency goes, I'll be playing that by ear. I would like to post an episode review for each show every week. There may be the odd occasion that I'm on a roll and I knock out more, but that depends on what obstacles life decides to throw in my way. So, until the first post, happy watching!

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