Category Archives: Television

THE LATE, GREAT BABYLON 5

Babylon 5 (1993 – 1998) is second only to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in my mind.  In my last post I took the time to discuss one of Babylon 5’s most important characters – Londo Mollari – and so I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the show in its entirety (spoiler free of course).  The show is not only solid entertainment, but its background offers insight and advice to anyone who wants to tell a rich, thought-provoking story in television.  Each season is like a chapter in a book, or rather a novel in a book series.  The next season builds on the former while telling events critical to the overall story that make it distinct from the other five.

Babylon 5 is unique among all television shows, and indeed, all movie franchises, in that the entire story was planned out, from beginning to end, before the show’s pilot aired across America.  However, the story originally envisioned by the creator, J. Michael Straczynski (JMS), was not the one that aired.

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The Modern Tragic Character: Londo Mollari

I like to think I have seen plenty of movies in my young life. I also like to think that I’ve seen plenty of television, having over 128 seasons of television on DVD.  While I have not seen all the great movies, or all the great TV shows, I’m reasonably comfortable in the title of this blog post.  Across all the characters I remember from the many hours I’ve sunk into modern entertainment, none come across to me as tragic as Babylon 5’s Londo Mollari.  Certainly there are other characters that give Londo a run for his money – Dukie from The Wire to name one – but none are so grandiose in scope – so Shakespearean without the melodrama – than the life of Londo Mollari.  From “Midnight on the Firing Line,” the very first episode of Babylon 5, we know of Londo’s fate: He will die being choked by G’Kar, another main character of the series. 

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Over/Under: Community and Psych

Over/Under

In Over/Under, the Blog writers will discuss two similar pieces of film, music, book, or other culture and which of these is overrated by the popular consensus and underrated by most people.  Feel free to comment below with your own views!

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TV Shows You Learn From: The West Wing

            To date, The West Wing remains unique in American television history.  The show’s story lives, breathes, and talks American politics.  The only show of its kind to last more than two seasons.

It was created, produced, and mainly written by Aaron Sorkin (writer of The Social Network) for its first four seasons.  (Mr. Sorkin departed after the show’s fourth season concluded).  The show in its entirety concentrates on the day-to-day operations of Democratic President Josiah Bartlett and his personal staff.

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TV Shows You Learn From: The Wire

On June 17th, 1971, President Nixon declared what is now known as the war on drugs, saying that drug abuse is “public enemy number one.” Forty years later, this “war” is no closer to being won that when it began. If anything, drug use is on the rise, and as a result of forty years of policies emphasizing prevention over treatment, America incarcerates more people, as percentage of its population, than any other Western nation.

After forty years of trying to solve a problem one way, only for that problem to get worse, wouldn’t you say it’s time to reevaluate the situation?

The creators of The Wire certainly thought as much. And so they wrote about it.

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“Curb Your Enthusiasm”: Season 8 Review

“The Social Assassin” is at it again, offering new, awkward situations that offer hearty laughs, as well as ironic sociological truths. Following up a season which reunited the cast of “Seinfeld” in what amounted to quite possibly one of the cleverest devices in television history, David enlisted some extra writers to provide the show with fresh, original plots while still retaining core LD tropes. I’m going to provide you an episode-by-episode review of “Curb”, as well as evaluate the season as a whole in comparison to the overall season.

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What Ever Happened To….Chuck?

Now I’m going to start this off being completely honest. I’m not really much of a TV enthusiast. I didn’t bring any season DVD’s with me to college and I’ve never seen an episode of Star-trek. The only reality show I watch is Survivor and I’m not all that concerned that, as an out-of-stater, I don’t know what channels are what.

I guess you’re probably thinking that I’m not all that qualified to write about TV. And maybe I’m not, but sure, I know what it’s like to hold a show near and dear. We all remember the first show we ever fell for. The first time we got completely and totally sucked in, enraptured, entranced. We all know what it’s like to count down the days of the week until said program is on, counting down the hours until we glue our asses to the couch for sixty beautiful minutes….

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AYO!

OMAR COMIN’, YO! OMAR COMIN’!

Obviously that scene loses some of its significance if you haven’t seen the previous eight episodes of The Wire, but the key takeaway should still be able to resonate with you: Omar’s a badass. Indeed, Omar is the most badass homosexual character in the history of television and movies.

And he’s comin’ to Community.

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