The old flame you don't see very often any more but whom you still really enjoy getting together with for a few drinks and maybe a pleasant nostalgic romp: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. ST:TNG was similar to the original Star Trek concept: a large, diverse crew on a ship called the Enterprise travels the galaxy, meets aliens, and spreads goodwill. Though I watched Star Trek with Kirk, Spock, and the gang, I was not captivated; however, when ST:TNG came out, I was hooked. I thought the show had better plots, more realistic special effects, and a great ensemble cast. I especially loved Commander Riker, Commander Data, and Lieutenant Barkley, and, of course, Captain Jean Luc Picard. I even tolerated the “Mary Sue” character of Wesley Crusher. I loved the new concept of the holodecks, and that Klingons could now serve on board Federation ships. How much things had changed from the original Star Trek. And if flipping through channels and I come across an episode of ST:TNG I’ll stop and watch. It’s good to visit an old friend.
The mysterious dark one whom you used to sit up with talking until 3 AM at weird coffee houses and with whom you were quite smitten until you realized she really was crazy: STAR TREK VOYAGER. The show follows the adventures of the crew of the USS Voyager, stranded 70 years from home in the Delta Quadrant, as they meet new species and try to find a way back to the Alpha Quadrant. I loved this show. I loved Kathryn Janeway, whom I adored and admired as a strong female lead. Finally, a strong female character, and she was captain of a starship. I loved the bromance between Tom Paris and Harry Kim. I loved, loved, loved the quirkiness and bedside matter of the Doctor. I liked the premise of a lost starship trying to get back home and the show had a dynamic where Starfleet rules couldn't always apply. There was a nice introduction to new alien species and some old favorites making appearances; however, the reemergence of the Borg fell flat to me. I could over look some of the faults, and stay tuned week after week, even after Seven of Nine’s breasts became the focus of the show, however, it was the finale that did me in. . . whatever were the writers thinking? Time travel, really? Right the wrong. How original. . . not! And what was up with Chakotay and Seven of Nine's relationship, since there was no hit of it before the finale? In addition, I felt robbed over the simplicity and abruptness of the series ending.
The one who seemed like a sweet, romantic one, until she turned got hooked on scary drugs, developed an angry side, and turned into an abusive jerk overnight: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. The series offered an updated retelling of the classic "Beauty and the Beast" fairytale: the romance between Catherine, an assistant DA living in a New York high-rise apartment and Vincent, the Beast, who lives in a secret Utopian community of social outcasts beneath New York City. I even called in sick from work once (don't tell), because the manager had scheduled me to work a night shift on an evening I just had to watch. Pure romance, poetry, beautiful music, and great acting, although cheesy dialogue at times. Then the writers ticked off Linda Hamilton and they killed her off after she had Vincent’s baby and the baby was stolen. How can you have Beauty and the Beast without Beauty? Third season was a train wreck, a former shell of itself, and never found a following for it was no longer a fairytale.
The one you spent a whole weekend in bed with, and who drank up all your liquor, and whom you'd still really like to get with again, although you’re relieved she doesn’t actually live in town: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1978). The premise of the show was in a distant part of our galaxy, a human civilization lives on a group of planets known as the Twelve Colonies. They have been in war for decades with a cybernetic race known as the Cylons, whose goal is the extermination of the human race. The Cylons offer peace to the humans, which proves to be a ruse, and they carry out a massive attack on the home planets and on the Colonial Fleet of starships that protect them. Scattered survivors flee into outer space aboard available vessels. Of the entire Colonial battle fleet, only the Galatica survived the attack. Under the leadership of Commander Adama, the fugitive fleet of survivors searches for the fabled thirteenth colony known as Earth. I loved this show. I loved the dialogue. I loved the casting. I loved the characters. I loved the symbolism. However, because of the high cost of producing the show the network canceled the show after only one season. This was the biggest TV trauma of my early teen years. Although, a canceled Battlestar Galactica was better then the new version of the show Galactica 1980, with new characters, poorly written scripts, and low budget, it only survived 10 episodes.
The steady: SCARECROW AND MRS. KING. The premise of the show was one of the top agents in the country, Lee Stetson, codename Scarecrow is being chased. He can’t be caught with the package he’s carrying, so he passes classified information to a woman he meets at the train station. She is unable to complete the assignment, and Scarecrow tracks her down to recover the package, inadvertently getting her involved with his case. She solves the case, saves his life, and his boss sees the potential of her becoming involved in the Agency and offers her a job, which she must keep secret from her mother, her boyfriend, and two young sons. Scarecrow and Mrs. King is my favorite fandom, and has been since the show premiered. A strong ensemble cast, great family dynamics, and character growth and development. I wish more shows followed this formula. It was fun, lighthearted, and had wonderful chemistry. Sometimes campy and silly, but will always be my first true love and I will love her forever.
The alluring stranger whom you’ve flirted with at parties but have never gotten really serious with: REMINGTON STEELE. The premise is that Laura Holt, a licensed private detective opened a detective agency under her own name but found that potential clients refused to hire a woman, although qualified. To solve the problem, Laura invents a fictitious male superior whom she names Remington Steele. Through a series of events a former thief and con man assumes the identity of Remington Steele. I enjoyed this show (except for the disastrous fifth season), but was never a faithful viewer. Great humor, romance, and mystery. In the fandom world though, I never write it, or ever read it, nor watch it anymore.
The one you hang out with and have vague fantasies about maybe having a thing with, but ultimately you’re just good buddies: BABYLON 5. Babylon 5, was a five-mile long, rotating space station designed as a gathering place for many species in the galaxy in order to foster peace through diplomacy, trade, and cooperation. Instead, the station becomes involved in an interstellar war. I was late jumping into this fandom, although I had many friends telling me I should watch since it contained two of my favorite things, science fiction and Bruce Boxleitner. So the summer before I attended Dragon*Con, I marathoned through all five seasons. I must admit I enjoyed Babylon 5, I especially loved the back and forth between Londo and G’Kar. I had a difficult time getting through season one, just was not a fan of Captain Sinclair, and thought the series was much better once Captain Sheridan came aboard. I personally preferred seasons three and four over the other seasons. Also unlike other friends, although I enjoyed the relationship between Sheridan and Delenn, I never ‘shipped’ them.
The one your friends keep introducing you to and who seems like a hell of a cool person except it’s never really gone anywhere: JAG. The premise of the show is an elite legal wing of officers trained as lawyers who investigate, prosecute and defend those accused of crimes in the military, including murder, treason and terrorism. I really, really tried to get into this show, and although I enjoyed watching, and took pleasure in the chemistry between Mac and Harm it never became a show I *had* to watch every week.
The one who’s slept with most of your friends, and you keep looking at them and thinking, "What the hell?" GLEE. Glee is a musical comedy-drama television series that centers on a high school glee club and choir competitions, as well as, focusing on the student’s relationships, sexuality, and social issues. All I can say is, sorry Ros, I just don’t get the attraction.
The one who gave you the best damned summer of your life and against whom you measure all other potential partners: HARRY POTTER. Enough said.
The one you recently met at a party and would like to get to know better: BURN NOTICE. I was also late to the party for this fandom, but how it reeled me in. The show centers around Michael Weston, a burned spy, who tries to clear his name after he receives a “burn notice.” What’s not to love—the characters, writing, ensemble, humor, drama, a well-rounded show. I love Fi’s wiliness to blow up everything and her smoking hot relationship with Michael. I just adore Sam who is brilliantly portrayed by Bruce Campbell, but the real surprise to me was Sharon Gless, who is delightful as Michael’s mother, Madeline Weston. The show is smart, gritty, and a bit edgy at times.
The old flame that you wouldn’t totally object to hooking up with again for a one night romp: EMERGENCY. The show focused on paramedics John Gage and Roy DeSoto of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Station 51 California and the Rampart hospital emergency staff Dr. Kelly Brackett, Nurse Dixie McCall, and Dr. Joe Early whom the paramedics work with to save lives. Oh my gosh, how I loved this show. And I mean LOVED. I loved the bromance between Gage and DeSoto. I loved the brotherhood between the firefighters. I loved the trill of the rescue. My first TV crush was Johnny—there was just something about Randolph Mantooth.
The one who stole your significant other: LITTLE HOUSE: A NEW BEGINNING. I grew up on Little House on the Prairie. The show was an adaptation of Laura Ingalls Wilder's best-selling series of "Little House" books, although they did not follow the books very closely. The series followed the Ingalls family life and adventures living in early pioneer times in the town of Walnut Grove. LHOTP explored many themes and could be tragic and funny in the same episode. There was always a lesson to be learned and I watched it faithfully week after week. Then Michael Landon decided it was time to move on and LHOTP was retooled to Little House: A New Beginning. I think if the focus had stayed more on Laura and Almanzo and baby Rose, it would have been better, then bringing in a whole new cast of characters, including them taking in their niece Jenny Wilder. Huge continuity problem as Jenny Wilder was a daughter of Royal, who was Almanzo’s brother, and a widower with one daughter, yet in a prior season Royal was married with two sons. The retooled show is just so DULL and could have been so much better. Even the made for television sequels that followed fell flat and in the end they blew up the town.
The one you should have broken up with before they got arrested for stealing your TV and selling it on eBay: QUANTUM LEAP. The series was about Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist who becomes lost in time following a time travel experiment, temporarily taking the places of other people to "put right what once went wrong". Al, who appeared as a hologram that only Sam can see and hear was his sidekick and friend. How I loved it! I loved the mix of comedy, drama, melodrama, social commentary, nostalgia, and science fiction. At the end of each episode, Sam "leaps" into the setting for the next adventure. It was witty and charming, and I watched it to the messy, confusing, nightmarish end. The finale episode I hated. How dare they not let him go home!!
The one you're glad you broke up with early enough that you can still remember her fondly rather than the subject of that embarrassing tabloid story with which her name is now irrevocably linked: ER. The series focused on the work and lives of a group of emergency room doctors from fictional County General Hospital (a teaching hospital) in Chicago. The show ran for 15 seasons, becoming the longest-running prime-time medical drama in American television history. In the beginning I loved ER. I was totally obsessed with this show. Thought it was brilliantly written, directed, and wonderfully acted. However, like most good things, I started losing interest after the departure of Dr. Mark Green (Anthony Edwards)—although I admit I blubbered like a baby at his death and funeral. I finally left after Dr. John Carter (Noah Wyle) departed. And nothing could get me more riled then when I would ‘ship’ characters i.e. John Carter and Abby Lockhart and they would tease the fans and then drop the idea. Ugh! I tuned back in for the finale and they did not disappoint! The episode was structured much like the original pilot. I especially loved the return of Dr. Carter and how he showed med student Rachel Green how to start an IV, going full circle from the pilot when Dr. Benton showed him. Rachel Green was also the daughter of Dr. Mark Green and I thought the introduction of her as a medical student was brilliant.
The one you had a torrid and exciting group thing with that was fun and interesting and exciting. . . until it just got old and a little boring (but you still look back on fondly): STARGATE SG1. The premise is a “Stargate” is a ring-shaped device that creates a wormhole enabling personal transportation to distant planets far away. Under the control of the United States government, the Stargate discovered on Earth is kept a secret from the public. SGI is the team lead by Colonel Jack O’Neil, and his team consists of Major Samantha Carter, Teal’c, a Jaffa warrior, and Dr. Daniel Jackson. Oh, how I loved this show. I still love it. It was fantastic. It was brilliant! I loved the whole cast! I loved the UST between Jack and Sam. However, I did not love everything. I did not like when Michael Shanks left the series at the end of the fifth season and was replaced by Corin Nemec. In addition, I could no longer watch Stargate SGI once Richard Dean Anderson departed and the dynamics changed from stepping through the Stargate to zooming through outer space on a spaceship. I lost interest.
Your hot new flame: CHUCK. Chuck season four finale woes notwithstanding. The series is about Chuck, an computer geek, who receives an encoded e-mail from an old college friend now working for the CIA. The message embeds the only remaining copy of the United States greatest spy secrets into Chuck's brain. Chuck is recruited to use the knowledge he now possesses and paired with John Casey from the NSA and Sarah Walker from the CIA, who are his handlers. Chuck in many ways reminds me of Scarecrow and Mrs. King—a civilian thrown into the world of espionage, and later when he proves he is capable, becomes a full-time spy. The ensemble cast is great, wonderful, witty writing, great humor, and plenty of drama, mixed with romance. It is my second favorite television show—ever! I really hope the producers and writers give the show a sendoff it deserves this final season.