I have always been a public advocate of not watching too much television. Many who know me have heard the phrase “Watching television is unproductive” escape my lips on more than one occasion. And its true, I have always fronted as an anti-TV, pro-Cinema goon who hypocritically owns a nice HDTV and subscribes to HD cable. It is a terrible element of my life, thus I must seek some retribution.
In order to do so I must admit to you all, in a very public forum, that I do love certain television shows. I will not admit to having watched these shows during their original broadcasts though, as that would be conflicting with my core values as a TV-hater. Thanks to the advent of TV on DVD, I have been able to get my fix of great sitcoms without having to wade through commercials or fight battles of epic proportion with my consistently inoperable DVR. I have been able to watch every episode of “Seinfeld” in order (which takes months, in case you are wondering), catch the entire existence of “Arrested Development” (a show that is the closest thing we will ever see to recreating genius on the level of “Seinfeld”) and I even watched all of “Freaks and Geeks” — as you can see, I have a thing for shows that are no longer on the air.
There are some shows that I have loved that still exist today, including “The Office”, Dennis Leary’s “Rescue Me” and the hysterical “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. But as you can see, I have always been more of a sitcom guy. I have never ventured into the world of primetime drama with shows like “Lost” (which I will eventually have to go back and watch), “24″ or even “Battlestar Galactica” — until now.
On Friday evening around 8 p.m. Eastern I pulled a dusty “Battlestar Galactica: Season One” DVD box set from my collection and broke the plastic seal, a small moment in what would become an epic transition in my TV-watching life. Almost ten hours later, sometime around 5:30 a.m. Saturday, I finally put the DVD set back on the shelf and made my way to my cozy bed, having watched all but one disc of the entire BSG mini-series and season one. Though fans of the series had warned me previously I still couldn’t believe it, but I was addicted to “Battlestar Galactica”. And I am still addicted, even today, as I have penciled in a trip to Best Buy to pick up Season Two and the Razor DVDs. To some it would be sad… To me, it is all part of my evolution as a movie geek.
What I have realized in my time spent with this generation’s “Star Trek” is that television shows have come a long way in recent years, especially those niche shows on the Sci-fi Channel and FX. Back in the day, the closest thing that movie geeks had to great television that felt like a big movie was stuff like “Sliders” (May the career of Jerry O’Connell rest in peace…) and “The X-Files”. But even back then it was all geared toward the sci-fi geeks, the remainders of those who remember the heyday of Star Wars and Star Trek. Now however, there seems to be great, epic TV shows for any movie fan. “Lost” is there to satisfy your insatiable mid-week need for drama, “24″ brings you your action fix and yes, even a sitcom like “The Office” lays down comedy that rivals any Judd Apatow flick.
And yes, for the sci-fi geek, there is still plenty out there, including my new love, “Battlestar Galactica”. What began as curiosity after seeing the original 1978 pilot at the Ohio 24-Hour Sci-Fi Marathon has bloomed into a full-on affair. It is an affair that has left me changed, scarred with the realization that television has finally come around, somehow rivaling the entertainment value of films. For a movie geek, this is a win-win scenario. So this week, as I prepare to see Iron Man and get this summer movie season kicked off, I plan to be living somewhere in 2005, during season two of “BSG”, continuing my full-on transformation into a TV watcher — or at least, a DVD watcher with a lot of TV show box sets.
This brings me to the question of the weekend. We have been toying around with the notion of starting a new feature called “TV for Movie Geeks” here at FSR. This would focus on great television shows that every movie geek should be watching. Is this something that would interest you, as a reader? Let me know in the comment section below.