Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Case for Gating Again

The joys of the DVD age mean that remembering or catching up with series from yesterday is just a video store or obsessed friend away.

By these means, I have seen the brilliant Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (criminally axed after 1 season, though one could kind of feel it was doomed considering its fairly narrow appeal), have enjoyed the superlative Firefly, recalled the angst of the 90s with My So Called Life, and (of course) strained (and continue to strain) to make out the hastily hurled dialogue in the Gilmore Girls.

My latest trip down memory lane (on my own, so therefore, fairly quickly) is to the era of the original Stargate SG1. Surprisingly for me, I never really got into this series, as I must have missed a few episodes, the ones I did see never seemed particularly inspired and I found Richard Dean Anderson’s character a smarmy git.

Perhaps that is what it eventually degenerates into (until it morphs into Stargate Atlantis) because, as I re-watch series one and two, I am actually finding that I quite like it. Oddly enough, this time around, I am not determined to like the four main characters, and I think that this is adding to its appeal.

Because for me, the coolest character thus far is General Hammond. Unlike the smug Colonel O’Neill, he is every inch a military man, honourable and decent, though perhaps a bit more tolerant of the Colonel’s attitude than a real Air Force commander would be. Perhaps it’s the bald thing: Picard was always cooler than Riker, and Hammond and Picard have a similar follicle count. And, coming a close second, is the cool as a cucumber Doctor… whatever her name is. So cool, I can’t even remember what the character is called.

I am on to season two so far, and it is chugging along quite nicely. Whether it will remain at tolerable levels of smugness remains to be seen: the Gilmore Girls has a lot more Logan than I thought I could safely stand, but I am hanging in there, albeit just; but should it reach the noxious levels of self congratulatory self referencing seen on Stargate Atlantis (perhaps so overwhelming because I have not really followed that series either), then I may need to rethink my DVD adventure.

If there are any other series out there than any might suggest I try and experience (or re-experience), feel free to leave me the suggestion. For now, I have about a decade of Stargates to go through, but at the current rate of travel, that should not take me too long…

Verdict: Off to a light speed start through wormholes and normal space. But will my enjoyment of Stargate SG1 continue? 4 chevrons out of 5 – SO FAR!

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