Monday, May 21, 2012

Megalist Check In: 126. Rewatch all TV I own on DVD - The X-Files (Season 3)

Time to check in on one of my Mega-List item! Looking at 126: Rewatch all TV I own on DVD - The X-Files, Season 3 - DONE.

Warning: The X-Files spoilers for season 1 - 3 AHEAD.

I'm a little behind on writing this as I'm already well into Season 4, but I realized I stopped watching that Season because I hadn't checked in. So, to stop that cycle and get be back on The X-Files watching train, let's check in on how Season 3 faired in my re-watch.

Where Season 2 dived into real danger for Mulder and Scully and starts very much in this vein, they get back to adding some fun episodes and ideas in and around all the danger, conspiracy and arcs. There are also huge sets of episodes in the early and mid season that have no tie to the arc, but they do start to bring in not conspiracy but religion element in terms of belief vs fact vs paranormal theme brewing. I almost forgot they did that.

Fave Episodes:
  • 3.03 D.P.O. Guest stars Giovanni Ribisi as a guy who sole-survives lightning and then has the ability to control electric-ness. Co-Stars Jack Black! This season has so many awesome guest stars. I've always really liked this episode, and when I was younger I was a huge fan of lightning (I know, weird), I'm not sure what it was about this one that got me, perhaps how tragic it is.
  • 3.13 Syzygy First off: coolest, hard-to-spell title. I loved the total mayhem the girls in this episode created, and the astrological element and I hate to say it but Scully increasing impatient behaviour was amusing. It's also actually quite funny as it demonstrates how rarely the show ever has anything like jealousy or gender power imbalance.
  • 3.20 Jose Chung's From Outer Space Hands-down my favourite episode of the season and it's in the running for my favourite episode ever. It follows a writer, Jose Chung, interviewing for accounts of a Men In Black and abduction encounter as research for his book. Goes with a different structure with different POVs; especially of same encounters, as well as the depictions how other perceive Mulder and Scully. Plus awesome guest star of Jesse Ventura and Alex Trebeck.
Least Fave Episodes of the Season:
  • 3.18 Teso Dos Bichos Cursed object episode on an acheological dig a human skull is unearth and when dug up instead of left people begin to do. I was in a bit of a mood while watching, but I was also so disintereted that I barely paid attention and I don't remember how it ended.
  • 3.19 Hell Money One of the only episodes I've remembered so strongly over the years as the idea of it is so disturbing, the desperation of gambling to win back their debt or lose organs. It still creeps me out. I didn't even want to re-watch it.
Weird Re-occurrence
Early in the season there is a weird 4-episode run of serial killer cases (creepy!)
3.04 Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose - Fortune/Future Telling (serial killer)
3.05 The List - Reincarnation (serial killer)
3.06 2Shy - Fat-consuming human(?) (serial killer)
3.07 The Walk - Astral Projection (serial killer)

Closing Thoughts:
  • I love that they balanced the arc episodes with some just straight-up fun episodes, where it really showcases how much we've come to know and love the characters because of when times where they are out of character more than when they are in. It's done very well in 3.12 War of the Coprophages, that has Mulder constantly phoning Scully asking for help on inadvertant case he follows while skygazing, but almost everything is easily explained by science as we see Scully doing very normal day to day things from giving Quegqueg a bath to cleaning guns to eating ice cream. It's really funny.
I think I'll close with my fave line of the season "A frog holocast is currently underway and man is the executioner" - 3.22 Quagmire

I'm Re-Watching the X-Files is part of my Mega-List. See also my reflections re-watching Season 1 and Season 2.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Watch Stargate SG-1 - Megalist #113 Complete!

Mega-List #113: Watch Stargate SG-1
  • Started: July 25, 2011
  • Completed: May 2, 2012
  • Number of seasons: 10
  • Watched via: Season 1 on DVD from the library, seasons 2-10 on SPACE
  • Status: COMPLETE!

I'm actually quite surprized I did. I think each and every Mega-List Status Update I did I said something to the effect of "I think I'll stick with it". And, I watched 179/214 episodes, but I still consider it complete as I only took breaks during festival and the occasional missed episodes.

How I watched
I watched S1 and S2 in tandem, missing the first season when it was on Space. I had done this before and though "I'll catch it next time round", but then for months and months and months it didn't get back to square one. So I watched 'em both at the same time.

The show started as my 'get home from work and work out show' when it aired at 6pm on Space, and during the fall of 2011 I did 22 workouts while watching including just over 1000 push ups and a whopping 7070 sit ups! During that time I also watched several episodes at my Mom's house where I'd buy her groceries and she'd cook me dinner - and explain the show. I still didn't understand all of it! And then during the holiday season between 2011/12 they changed it from being on at 6pm to 7pm which really didn't work for me so I...shudder....watched it at 7AM. So early. I would watch it as I got ready for the day, often getting the final touches on blog posts, podcasts, having breakfast and other day to day tasks. I'll have to admit my attention span is less at that time of day and I definitely multi-tasked a lot.

But I still stuck with it.

Why did I want to do this?
I'm a big fan of science fiction, but this show never was quite on my radar when it came out and never circled back in at any particular time. But, I knew there were cultural references I was missing and wanted to see what it was all about. It did worm it's way into my heart by the mid-seasons of 4-7 which I think were my favourites. I did love seeing tons of guests stars, and always enjoyed episodes where you really 'saw' the characters for who they were; when they were pushed to the limits or can't fake out on their own beliefs. But I knew I wasn't a true fan, because after watching tons of 'genre' shows, I know the ones that play to their fans, and those were episodes that I didn't connect to. Often comedy centric, other worldy (but still comedy), or ones with emotional reflection/clip-ish show, nods to the culture, etc. I didn't connect to those.

But I still stuck with it.

The Experience of the Long Haul
Once I had established the pattern of watching, it wasn't really all that hard to do - especially when it changed over to the morning timeslot. Even though I liked that time less, it was on a channel I love and often watched and at a time I was never committed to anything else. So, sticking with it wasn't a challenge. But I kind of wanted it to be a challenge, so that kind of cheeses me off! Not that I want more challenges - I think I have enough, but still. It was like a reminder that watching something, even if it's long, isn't necessarily 'hard'. Does it take a long time? Yes. Does it take commitment? Yes. Is it 'hard'? I would have to say no.

But I still stuck with it.

It's the WHO not the WHAT
I usually choose what I watch based on cast or concepts, but what keeps me with a show is the characters. And I liked many of the characters. The original, core characters especially. I wasn't always a huge fan of change and I didn't quite warm up 100% to the folks outside the original cast. There is one exception to that - I loved the character of Jonus (played by Corin Nemec); who was enthusiastic but inexperienced, a great combo for a new character - and I think that character gave me new eyes to the show figuring out stuff that I didn't understand, and affirming what I didn't know that I knew, but actually did know. But mostly it was the enthusiasm. The shows also had a hell of a lot of amazing guest stars over the years, and I loved many of them but no one was as impressive as a Michael Welch as a young Jack O'Neill in S7 Ep03 Fragile Balance. Wow. Amazing.

The Opinion That Changed
I think one of the funniest things about the experience was that I initially hated the spoiler-ific “Next time on Stargate SG-1” promos; but then if I knew I was going to miss the next episode I would watch them and then retrospectively I would understand what happened better than if I had watched the show! So weird. Of course by the time I appreciated them, poof! Gone! They stopped using them.

Did I 'Get' It?
I think it's a bit crazy I stuck it through all the way to the end. I never understood the science (maybe this was why I liked O'Neill's character so much as he would basically just drilled it down to “So, can we do it? Great! Let’s go!”). That's how I felt about the science, the tech and lore of the show - they'll figure it out, and I'll just wait until they'll tell me it works. I wasn't a super fan. I'm not even sure I'd call myself a fan. Committed to the cause, yes. Fan? I don't know. I think I need to see if I'd start re-watching favourite eps or using show lingo to say that.

And Now...
I feel like I should have more reflection or wisdom on the experience. But I don't . I wanted to see if I could do it, and I did. Would I do it again? I don't know. Will I continue on my epic Mega-List quest, including tons of TV to watch and re-watch? Hell yes! I'm up for more.

A huge thank you to SPACE for airing the ENTIRE SERIES and to the Toronto Public Library for having Season 1 available for borrowing; you were the METHOD of my MADNESS.

Now the big question is: What's next?

First: Sleep. And hopefully I don't automatically wake up at 7AM. I did not intend to cultivate THAT habit!

Me watching the very last episode of the series

Megalist Check-in: #113 - Watch Stargate SG-1 (Season 10)

Today I watched the final episode of Season 10 of Stargate SG-1. Wow. 10 Seasons. That's epic long, and I'm really surprized I stuck with the show that long especially sine I still have no idea what the acronyms stand for, or the ability to spell the names of the alien races or even explain the devices. But, I'll talk more about the show and experience as a whole separately and first just want to check in on season 10 as a season.

Warning: Spoilers for Season 10 of Stargate SG-1 Ahead

As a season as whole, I actually felt that it was a solid season with a nice combination of variety of different types of episodes from long arc, to character history, to a few ones with great comedy and a fair amount of heart to boot.

I particularly liked S10 Ep15 Bounty where they go to Cameron's High School reunion and S10 Ep16 Bad Guys where the team is mistaken for hostage-takers when they appear in a museum on another world - that one was really fun. I also came to like the character of Vala (played by Claudia Black) more and more, even though I think I liked her best as the Han Solo-like character from earlier incarnations, in this season she got a lot more emotional story lines. It's actually been interesting to see a show go on for so long with very little romantic relationship content in it at all.

I like where they ended up coming to in the end and it did make me realize that I did feel like I knew most of the characters really well by the end of it, especially Sam and Daniel; and Teal'c too - although not quite as much. I continued to miss the presence of O'Neill though, and the show wasn't quite the same when they made that shift.

I think my favourite episode was S10 Ep13 The Road Not Taken, following Sam shift into an alternate universe where people appear to be the same, but the harshness and political control is very different. That one was quite subtle and really made me think.

I still can't quite believe I made it all the way through to the very end, from a journey that started last July! Wow. More on the experience of the entire watch soon. Epic, you say? Indeed.

See my entire Mega-List here.

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