Sunday, September 5, 2010
Even if you're a massive science fiction fan, there are probably still some great shows you've yet to discover. But for massively long-running shows, where to begin? Here's our guide to how to start watching twenty classic science fiction shows.
It should be pointed out that this guide is meant for potential new fans, not people who already love these shows. We advise in quite a few instances to skip entire seasons of shows, and that's not something a big fan of a show is likely to agree with. But this is all about the best way to get hooked on a show, and we of course recommend checking out the rest of a series once you've sampled the best of what a show has to offer.
We're also focusing more on seasons of shows than specific brilliant episodes, because it's easier to reach consensus - and thus make useful recommendations to the most people - on an entire season than one particular episode. So, let's start with the biggest, most daunting science fiction franchise of them all...
Star Trek: The Original Series
Since it only ran three seasons, the easy answer is just to tell you to watch all of it. Unfortunately, the third season has a whole lot of badness in it, which is the result of slashed budgets and the influence of new producer Fred Freiberger. (He also presided over the similarly derided second season of Space: 1999.) There are a few decent episodes in there - "The Tholian Web" is probably the best of the bunch - but most of the classics are to be found in the first two seasons, and almost all the notoriously awful episodes ("Plato's Stepchildren", "Spock's Brain") are season three entries. So just stick with seasons 1 and 2, then head into season 3 with extreme caution.
Byron York reports that White House aides cautioned Michelle Obama against taking her trip to Spain in August. They warned her that the trip, during which she stayed at a glitzy five-star hotel in Marbella, would hurt her image. That is just what happened, according to polling data.
The First Lady decided to take the trip nonetheless. Afterwards, she reportedly was surprised by the intensity of the uproar her posh vacation on the Spanish Riviera caused. It is difficult to say whether the affair, including her reaction to the uproar, speaks more to Michelle Obama's arrogance or her cluelessness. Perhaps the unifying theme is her sense of entitlement.