Saturday, January 30, 2010

15,000 Hits!

By the time you read this, we may or may not have reached 15,000 hits. This is wishful thinking based on our current hit total. I'll be out of town this weekend, so I'm writing this post in advance in the hopes that maybe you, our loyal readers, won't make me look like a big fat liar.

So... get hitting, if you please.

Admittedly, watching the inscrutable number on the hit counter gradually rise has lost some of its excitement since we got to 10,000 hits; I think that extra digit at the front is throwing of the aesthetics or something.

Also, our readership has greatly expanded since the days when the only person driving up the hit counter was Alex, who was checking to see if anyone new had visited the blog in the past five hours--we no longer send enthusiastic e-mails to each other every time the hit counter goes up and it's not Alex.

Still, we started a tradition back when we reached 1000 hits--Alex and I had a bet whether or not we'd make it to 1000 hits by the end of the year; the winner of the bet got to expose the other guy to a new fandom, no objections allowed.

Since then we've taken turns getting each other involved in our favorite fandoms every time we reach such a milestone, but we've had to make adjustments to accomodate for the increased rate of hits. I could very well be making this all up at this point, but 15,000 hits was my turn, and then we'll probably wait for 20,000 for Alex to make his next move, and then we'll shift it to every 10,000 hits.

That's all in the future, though. Let's talk about right now. Assuming that "right now" is a time when we've actually reached 15,000 hits.

Here's the eternal challenge: Most of my favorite fandoms involve outer space or playing video games. Alex doesn't like outer space and he doesn't really play video games.

Tough noogies, as they say.

I'm sure I'll come up with something not-spacey and not-gamey for next time, but I would be remiss to hold out any longer on showing Alex at least one of my two absolute favorite sci-fi shows.

The options on the table: Star Trek and Firefly/Serenity.

Star Trek is my favorite fandom, period. (Mega Man just barely gets second place.) While Alex has seen a little bit of the original Trek, there are some key gaps in his education. There are plenty of ways to go about getting someone into Star Trek, but I'm looking at this as my one shot to give Alex an appreciation of Star Trek without overwhelming him with space, which is omnipresent in Star Trek.

Should we go with Star Trek, my plan would be to show Alex a few classic episodes of The Original Series such as "The Trouble with Tribbles" and "City on the Edge of Forever" (unless he has seen them, in which case I'll pick others). Then I'll sit him down to watch Star Trek II, III, and IV, as they make up a nice big movie story arc, plus II and IV are traditionally the most popular of the movies, and I know Alex will like IV because there is very little space.

If Alex so much as feigns interest in Star Trek by the time this is all over, I may continue on and show him a handful of Next Generation episodes, followed by Generations and First Contact. This, like the Star Wars prequels that he still hasn't watched, will most likely be a secondary project to pull on him when he least expects it some time down the road.


The alternative is that I could show Alex all 14 episodes of Firefly and the movie Serenity, which might go over better because it's essentially a western that happens to be set in space. If I can actually con Alex into watching Next Generation as well, both the Star Trek project and the Firefly/Serenity project would take roughly the same amount of time.

Besides, we just watched five films by Akira Kurosawa; if we watch one, maybe two more of his films, we'll have spent the same amount of time there. Plus, Alex had me read the full run of The Goon, so don't whine that this is gonna take forever.

So there you have it. Star Trek or Firefly/Serenity. I'll leave it up to you to decide. Stew on it a while, and I'll be putting up a poll (hopefully) tonight so that you can weigh in.

Choose wisely. I might never get Alex to watch sci-fi again.


Scott said...

I was never a big fan of those two episodes... well, not for very long, at any rate. The Enemy Within and Balance of Terror are two of my absolute favorite TOS episodes. They show some of the best Trek I know, period.

In TNG, the Time's Arrow episodes are great -- and have very little space, but tons of Mark Twain! I also think Evolution was a pretty solid episode, though a bit gross effects-wise.

DS9 was so continuity-centric that it's hard to pick a good episode that would mean a lot without the continuity, but Facets is a great character-centric episode that doesn't (I think) require a lot of background.

And as far as Voyager goes, Timeless is definitely a hands-down favorite. Definitely. The only problem is that it has a lot of space. As a matter of fact, maybe you shouldn't show it to Alex considering that space is the problem in that particular show...

Anonymous said...

Not to perpetuate or kick off a trend of everyone suggesting a different set of Star Trek episodes, but...

"The Trouble with Tribbles" is fun, but I have found "City on the Edge of Forever" to be unwatchable. (This is merely my personal taste.) Additionally, given that many of its merits draw very strongly on the established characters of the bridge crew, I imagine that, in spite of how lauded it is, it would be hard to watch for someone who doesn't have an established connection with the characters.

I second "The Enemy Within" and "Balance of Terror," adding "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield," "The Omega Glory," and "A Taste of Armageddon" to the list of episodes to consider showcasing. Star Trek tried to grapple with social issues that defined a lot of the American landscape, and I love juxtaposing their presentation in Roddenberry's future universe with how I see them today.

As a bonus, maybe you could somehow get Alex to sit through all of "The Menagerie" and then watch "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" (a Futurama episode parodying it and the rest of TOS) to blow off steam.

Scott said...

"Let This Be Your Last Battlefield" is heartily seconded. I can't believe I forgot about that one, it's a great episode.

One thing about Firefly is that even though it's short, it's sort of fundamentally unsatisfying because it was cut off so soon... at least for me.

Flashman85 said...

Heh. I was hoping there'd be some discussion about which episodes to watch.

For as big a Star Trek fan as I am, I'll be the first to admit that I have not, in fact, seen every single episode.

I watched almost all of TNG growing up, I'd catch random TOS episodes here and there, I watched most of the first and a little of the second season of DS9 before deciding it really wasn't my cup of Earl Grey, I've seen at least 50% of Voyager, and I've watched most of the first season of Enterprise, along with a few random episodes here and there of later seasons.

Now I'm going back and getting the DVD collections so that I can officially say I've seen everything. At the moment, I've got all three seasons of TOS and seasons 2-5 of TNG (I borrowed 1 from the library, but I'll add it to my collection eventually), plus the first season of DS9 which I will shortly jump into. Oh, and all 10 movies (NuTrek doesn't count).

Yes, I know there are other ways to watch the episodes I don't have, but I'll work with what I've got.

...Anyhow... I think I'll end this comment here and actually talk about specific episodes in another comment.

Flashman85 said...

Balance of Terror is a very good episode, though there's still a bit too much space involved. I was thinking Trouble with Tribbles because it's fun, well-known, not too spacey, and gives some air time to characters like Scotty and Chekov who don't always get much character development.

Given Alex's interest in history and the fact that he is at least a bit familiar with the TOS crew, City on the Edge of Forever seemed like a shoo-in.

The Enemy Within and The Omega Glory kinda bug me, if for no other reason than that so many other TOS episodes use a variations of the same premises. However, from the standpoint of someone who hasn't seen many episodes, that might not be a problem.

Let That Be Your Last Battlefield is, like, the next episode I have to watch, so I can't weigh in on that one yet. I'll try to get around to that this week.

I really like A Taste of Armageddon, and I think Alex would, too.

TNG is a bit trickier to decide because I want to find episodes that simultaneously do a good job of introducing the characters, aren't too heavy with space and technobabble, and provide a bit of context for Generations and First Contact.

Context, however, is tricky (especially for Generations), because that means introducing the holodeck, Guinan, the Duras sisters, the emotion chip, and the Borg. It would be great to just sit down and watch Descent or Redemption or Best of Both Worlds, but those need context, too, so I'm probably better off just picking out good episodes he would like, and possibly reconsidering the movies until later, if there is a later.

Time's Arrow is a good choice, but I only have Part I in my collection right now...

I haven't thought very much about TNG yet, considering Alex might want to stop after Star Trek IV, and considering we might end up watching Firefly/Serenity instead.

Still, a few ideas came up. Measure of a Man might be good, especially when Alex likes comic books by Bendis that are just page after page of dialogue. Sarek might be a nice tie-in to the original movies... I dunno yet. I'll keep thinking about it, and I'll take suggestions. Thanks!

And, yes, Firefly/Serenity does feel a bit hollow, but there are graphic novels that help to fill that void, and Alex might actually read graphic novels.