As a teen in the 1980s, television had an outsized influence on my life – particularly science fiction TV.
I remember the first time I watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica (O.G.) with my dad. At the end, when the Lorne Greene narration intoned, “The last battlestar, Galactica”, all I heard was “the last Battlestar Galactica” and gasped. I asked my dad if that meant the show was over, and he explained where the comma belonged and I was reassured.
I was Apollo’s pretend girlfriend and reimagined each episode with me in a viper alongside Apollo and Starbuck (and later, sigh, yes, Sheba).
But it wasn’t just BSG. Television was my friend. In college, I sat one Saturday afternoon watching “Empire of the Ants” while doing homework. It was amazingly bad. Cable? A boon to my existence and “Megaforce” gave me my new pretend boyfriend, Barry Bostwick – complete with baby blue headband and silver skin-tight bodysuit.
The first blog I contributed to at my old newspaper was about TV. Blogging about Jericho introduced me to the true power of the internet, and we got a second (albeit truncated) season, and I ended up a power-user on Digg and StumbleUpon (and recreational reddit user) because of it.
That experience brought me into the world of social media and after I was laid off the first time (I’ve been dumped three times in eight years, *shrug*), it enabled me to build an entirely new career.
I live-blogged “24” with a group of guys I’ve never met in real life, but we were a family once a week. We may not have agreed politically, but we agreed that Jack Bauer was the hero we needed.
In recent years, I’ve live-tweeted one TV show at a time. More than that, and it becomes too much like work. One at a time, it magnifies the enjoyment.
So when 12 Monkeys was announced as a series for SyFy, I was very skeptical. I was a huge fan of the original Bruce Willis/Madeline Stowe/Brad Pitt movie directed by Terry Gilliam. I expected it to be horrible. I saw the trailer and my fears were assuaged somewhat. It might not be awful, I thought.
I did not expect it to be as terrific as it was. It was among the shows I chose to live-tweet, because it was science fiction and I hoped it would be an homage to the original.
The first episode was a huge love letter to the movie, and occasional episodes have had big nods to the original. Even so, the series is an original and deserves to stand alone as well. Brad Pitts’ Jeffrey Goines is nearly forgotten – that’s how good Emily Hampshire is as Jennifer Goines, the show’s version of Jeffrey. And Brad was the best part of the original movie.
And then this past weekend, SyFy chose to drop the entire season in a binge. Four episodes Friday. Three Saturday and three Sunday night.
I couldn’t believe it, but I found myself making my travel plans for the weekend completely based on the series drop. I had to take costs into consideration, but the cheapest flights that enabled me to be in front of a TV for all 10 hours were selected. The first question I had for the hotel I stayed in Friday night? “Do you have the SyFy channel?” I immediately went to it and checked what time 12 Monkeys would air. (Would it be East Coast time or West Coast? It was East Coast, fwiw.)
The schedule was perfect. This season was too intense to drop week-by-week, and dropping it all at one time would not have been optimal for live-tweeting and interacting with the cast, writers and crew.
This weekend was a gift. I know that sounds ridiculous to say about a TV show, but I’m a TV girl. I make no apologies for my love of television shows. I don’t care what you think or say, but I love TV, especially science fiction shows. I’ll watch a really bad sci-fi show, just because it’s sci-fi.
I don’t care if you judge me for that, because you’re completely wrong.
I understand people who are addicted to shows I find stupid – reality shows, for example – because who am I to judge? Whatever your reasons for the type of TV you can’t pull yourself away from, I understand. There is something to say for this fiction that draws you in and gives you a family.
Especially when you’re live-tweeting along with other fans and showrunners and stars and writers and composers and others involved in the creation of the show.
I don’t care what you think – television is special, and we’re in the golden age of television. Especially if you’re a science fiction fan.
Photo via StockUnlimited.