Category Archives: Television

A Taste of Armageddon

The other night we watched an episode of the original Star Trek — A Taste of Armageddon. This was episode 23 of season one.

These shows hold up well.  I don’t watch much prime time TV these days. Actually, I don’t watch any, so this next statement is just me talking trash, yet I stand by it with all the conviction of a Trumper saying no one would ever vote for Joe Biden. Here is the statement…

No prime time show now deals with the variety of topics that the original Star Trek did. From this episode, about a computer-simulated war with real casualties, to overpopulation, to racism and more, this show covered a lot of ground, and did it well.

The versions you see these days, sadly, have much better computer graphics substituted for the special effects shots. They look great, but I’d rather see the old ones. They aren’t critical for the story, and is it really necessary to go back and “fix” everything?

Toward the end of this episode, there’s a great scene where Spock, the ambassador, and three enterprise crewmen run into a room to rescue Kirk, only to find that he has single handedly captured 8 or 9 people. Do not mess with Kirk. There’s also a great Kirk soliloquy I always call ” I will not kill TODAY,” about humankind’s killer nature and our ability to overcome it.  I can’t do it from memory, but like most of these shows I can speak it all right along with the cast.

I enjoy reading the history of these shows and films, and learning a bit about the actors.  Gene Lyons, who played Ambassador Robert Fox in this episode, died at 53 in 1974. This episode was broadcast in 1967, so he only only lived 7 years after this was aired. I suppose he would have been 46 at the time he made this. He looked a lot older ot me. He died of alcoholism. Apparently Lieutenant DePaul was played by an actor names Sean Kenney, who played the disabled and burned version of Captain Pike in the episode The Menagerie. I always figured the same person played Pike in the wheelchair and in the flashbacks, but no.

The idea of the antihero is so played out. Wolverine, Batman, all that stuff. Tiresome. Star Trek didn’t have that. It always lifted the human spirit up.


Another TV Post

Yes, another TV post, from the guy who doesn’t “really watch that much TV.”

Well, this is more of a Netflix post, really.

Back in the 1990s and very early 2000s, my wife and I looked forward each week to watching the X-Files. What a great show. Nevermind that a lot of the alien conspiracy story arch details didn’t really make much sense. All that stuff was creepy and weird, and everyone loved it, and so did we.

A couple of nights ago I started watching the series again, in order, on Netflix. I’ve watched the first three so far, and it’s just as good now as it was then.

The show went nine seasons. Even Star Trek: the Next Generation only went seven seasons. It is rare for a show I like to go very long, but the X-Files continued to deliver right to the end.

That’s about all I have to say about it…just digging it a lot.


TV Notes

I often write about how I don’t really watch any new TV shows. Today I want to write about two new shows that I’m watching.

OK, I am watching them on Hulu. It’s not like I’m rearranging my life around them. But here they are.

The Flash. I like this new show. Three or four episodes in, and I think they have done a good job adapting the comic book material to the small screen. The effects are good. I’m hoping that the Flash gets faster and discovers more powers as the series continues.

Constantine. I watched episode 1 last night, and it was really cool. Good magic/demonology kind of stuff. Kind of like Dr. Who, but not as stupid. (Sorry – I kind of like Dr. Who, but it can be pretty dumb sometimes). I am praying to Satan that this show be successful and continue for a few seasons.

That is all.

TV Shows, etc

A couple of month ago I watched the first season and a half or so of Breaking Bad, on Netflix. It was pretty good, but I’m done with it. It was compelling,  but depressing. I don’t need to be bummed out.

This week I tried to watch the first episode of Game of Thrones on some streaming service. Wanted to see what the fuss was about. Turns out it isn’t available on any streaming service at all. HBO and their ilk want you to be tied to them and the cable companies. I see that I can “buy” the whole thing streaming from for $38. Fuck that. I don’t need to own it. I just want to see it.  So I’m done with that too.

Same thing happened on the Wil Wheaton Project, on SyFy.

Thus, I have penned this excellent open letter to the Television Industry:

Dear TV content producers,

There’s this thing called the internet. It’s pretty cool. Y’all should look into it, because pretty much the whole world already is, and y’all are sadly and pathetically behind the curve. Here I am, actively seeking to waste my time watching your shows, and you make it as hard as possible to do so, because some bean-counter is watching the bottom line on a show that has already made you millions of dollars.

Your poor business decisions are not going to suddenly make me see the error of my ways and decide to subscribe to more expensive cable TV options. In fact, they are driving me further away.

Your shows, while sometimes entertaining, are not that boner-inducing. So get with the reality-based program, and put the old seasons up on NetFlix and Hulu and all that.


A Guy Who Reads


Last Night’s Cosmos

I find myself writing a lot about the new Cosmos series. I had to miss it a week ago, but last night it was once again great.

I think it is mostly written by Carl Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan, and delivered masterfully by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Last night’s episode explored the interrelationship between the earth science and life sciences — how have and do geological processes of the planet (as well as things like the gravitational tug from other planets) effect the development of life on earth, and then how does life effect the planet.

Once again, Cosmos took the opportunity to clearly explain how we are fucking up the climate through our burning of fossil fuels, drawing parallels to the great extinction events of the past. I hope people are watching this show, and I hope at least a few people are actually paying attention and maybe deciding that Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are not the people from whom to seek scientific information.

Beautiful, powerful, moving television. So unusual!