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Three Complete TV Series I Could Watch Again and Again

May 30, 2011

I spent much of yesterday watching a Firefly marathon on the Science channel.  Some shows have the power to hold your love and attention like no others.  These wonderful TV sagas are long gone, but not forgotten…

1.) Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009)

Ron Moore, an active scriptwriter during Star Trek: The Next Generation’s final seasons, took a cheesy 70s clunker of a show and managed to turn it  into a brilliant parable of  mankind’s search for a place to call home.  Telling the tale of humankind’s defeat by their own machine creations, BSG followed the last group of survivors as they battled internal and external demons to find a mythical place called Earth.  From the opening sequence of the mini-series it was a visual and emotional masterpiece.  BSG managed to tackle moral dilemmas while also delivering breathtaking action sequences that changed the face of television. Lasting a mere four seasons on Sci-Fi, BSG managed to be one of the most critically lauded television shows of all time – deservedly so.

2.) Twin Peaks (1990-1991)

David Lynch’s surreal and mystical town of hip cats and cherry pie-loving FBI agents was the forerunner of many similar shows currently in orbit on your Tivo.   The premise was loosely based on the investigation of the murder of  prom queen (and double-life-leading) Laura Palmer, but that was just a red herring to suck viewers in to the broader mythos and mood of this fascinating series.  Season one was a cornucopia of characters, plot twists and lust-filled glances, all set to the sensual music of Julee Cruise and Angelo Badalamenti.  Alas, ABC demanded that Agent Dale Cooper and Co. wrap up the mystery at the end of season one, leading to an all-too-brief second season that never got a chance to go anywhere.  Still – Lynch’s original vision is remarkably re-watchable, never dated and always beckoning you to take a trip back to the spooky wilds of the Pacific Northwest.

3.) Firefly (2002)

This beloved cult classic was so mistreated by Fox that creator Joss Whedon swore he’d never work with the network again.  He later re-canted by giving them Dollhouse, which met a similar, if more prolonged fate.  The saga of Captain Mal Reynolds and his crew of misfits takes place in a post-WWIII future where the dominant cultural influences are Asian and…Cowboy.  Somehow, it works.  Between the wonderful acting by all the leads and the masterful scripts, each episode was a fantastic blend of sci-fi, comedy and classic western.  Although the series was canceled mid-run, all the produced episodes are currently available on DVD, and the movie Serenity manages to wrap up most of the loose ends.  Many current series (Fringe, LOST, BSG) owe much of their success to Whedon’s series that never really got off of the ground.

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