The Final Frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Cinemaprise.
Its five year mission
To explore new sites
To seek out new writers and new realizations
To boldly go where no blog has gone before.
Okay, so I geeked out a bit, right there. I think it's okay because this is a Thursday Movie Picks first. Our host, the wonderful and talented Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves, has seen fit to designate the last Thursday of each month going forward as a time to step away from the big screen and go to the kinda big screen you have sitting way too close to your couch. Yup, we're talking about television shows. Unless just skipped the title of the post, and/or somehow have no idea what I was doing with that opening, the first topic for us to tackle is science fiction. I'm all in. Let's do this.
And, as much as I love it, I'm not picking Star Trek.
Or, any of the
(1982-1986)All I wanted as a teenager was a black t-top Trans-Am. This show is the reason why. It was the coolest show, and is the show that gave us The Hoff, for better or worse. I made sure I was parked in front of the TV every week to see this. Before I forget to tell all you youngsters who might be reading this what the show was about, let me get to it. A cop got shot in the face, but doesn't die. He's given a brand new mug, and identity: Michael Knight (The Hoff). He then goes to work for a super-secret law enforcement agency and is given a prototype vehicle to drive, a fully self-aware, talking, nearly indestructible car that goes by the name KITT, short for Knight Industries Two-Thousand. The episodes where KITT had to face off against KATT, his evil twin, are the stuff of legend. They rebooted the series in 2008. Yeah, but no.
V: The Miniseries
(1983)Talk about some tense sci-fi viewing. The title is iconic these days, but I feel like enough people haven't really seen it. As the story goes, one day some mysterious intergalactic visitors show up on our little 'ol planet. They look human, and seem to be all sorts of friendly. Before you know it, we find out they're really lizard-like creatures, and only here to take over the place. Every aspect of it intrigued me. The images of a human woman having an alien baby are the stuff of nightmares. I've never forgotten that scene, and it was over thirty years ago. I was glued to this thing for the three nights it was on, and so was most of the country. Since it's been so long you, I, and everyone we know needs to go find this. It ended on a dark note, which I love, but of course meant this had to be stretched into a full-blown series that ran for a couple seasons. Meh. Then there was the sequel mini-series, dubbed The Final Battle, which I don't even remember. Finally, the series was rebooted in 2009. Yeah, but no.
The Six Million Dollar Man & The Bionic Woman
(1973-1978 & 1976-1978)Obviously, I abused the opening of the original Star Trek to create the beginning of this post. I could've done something similar to this also iconic opening:
Steve Austin, astronaut.
A man barely alive.
Gentlemen, we can rebuild him.
We have the technology.
We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man.
Steve Austin will be that man.
Better than he was before.
Those words, from the original The Six Million Dollar Man got me hyped every week. That's pretty much the plot, by the way. After being rebuilt, like Michael Knight, he goes to work as a super-secret agent. By rebuilt, I mean both legs, his right arm, and left eye are all replaced with bionics. So, yeah, better...stronger...faster. This series was THE thing to watch, at the time. Period. If you're a child of that time, you almost certainly did your very own version of bionic running. This was, of course, you running in slow motion while humming the iconic score and occasionally saying "beh-neh-neh-neh" to simulate bionic sounds. You also had the Steve Austin action figure (not "Stone Cold," cuz screw that). This is the most special action figure ever because it had clear plastic wherever he was bionic. There's been talk of a big screen version of this for years. One is currently "in development." Hate to admit it, but I'm down for this. Well, I will be until they inevitably get Michael Bay or one of his flunkies to direct. Then I'll just cross my fingers and hope for the best.
Because, The Six Million Dollar Man (Lee f'in Majors, by the way) needed a mate, the powers that be gave him, and us, Jaime Sommers (Lindsay Wagner), aka The Bionic Woman. She was a star tennis player who suffered a sky-diving accident. Just like Steve, she is rebuilt with two bionic legs and a bionic right arm. The difference is that instead of a bionic eye, she has a bionic ear. I'm fairly certain my mother had one of those, too, but that's another story. Anyhoo, I loved this show, too. The episodes of either show where the other character made an appearance is the stuff of marketing genius. If you want legend...and nightmare... find the episodes The Six Million Dollar Man where he had to face off against Bigfoot. Andre the Giant donned the suit, by the way (speaking of wrestling). They rebooted The Bionic Woman as a series in 2007. Yeah, but no.
(1991-1995)Imagine a woman running around a future dystopian society, armed to the teeth, dressed like a dominatrix, who is a secret agent trying to infiltrate the neighboring city. Now make the episodes very short, five minutes or so, have her kick lots of ass and die a lot. Yes, I said die a lot. This showed up as a series of shorts on MTV's Liquid Television and was easily the best part. Each short was largely mono-chromatic and hyper-violent, yet thought provoking. And yeah, she died at the end of each one. Yes, Aeon Flux was the character's name. The shorts were expanded to become a regular show with thirty minute episodes. Meh. In 2005, it showed up as a watered down, technicolored PG-13 movie with Charlize Theron in the lead. Yeah, but no.
Okay, so last week I didn't get in on TMP. That's partly because it was a depressing topic: Movies Featuring Actors Who Died in 2016. I mean, I really wanted to get over that. Since, well, I figured I might as well give my two cents on the matter. I'll be brief. I promise.
Larry Drake in Dr. Giggles
(1992)It's a slasher flick with Drake in the eponymous role. What makes it work is one of the finest performances in the history of the genre and a script full of wonderfully dark, and perfectly corny, humor.
Doris Roberts in Grandma's Boy
(2006)A thirty-something video game tester moves back in with his grandmother after some issues with his roommates. He also smokes tons of weed. It's a stoner comedy that's better than it has any right to be. One of the things making it that way is Roberts as the Grandma of the title.
Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest
(1999)Since we started by referencing Star Trek, yet I refused to pick Star Trek, we might as well end with the best Star Trek spoof ever made. Rickman shines as the Spock-like member of the cast.