Two guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dr. Bitz Ranks Every Television Series Ever...Sorta (Part 3)

Yup, I'm still ranking every TV series I've ever seen....details here.

We're still near the bottom of the list, so there's some more lesser known shows...but here we go:

50. Hellsing: A vampire series before vampires were cool...or before they were lame? Well, all I know is they didn't sparkle.

This series was strong on potential but weak on realizing that potential. The series starts down an interesting path about a police lady becoming a vampire and then joining a supernatural government agency. Unfortunately all character development with this police lady stops halfway through the series. The later episodes just become one deus ex machina after another culminating in one giant deus ex machina to end the series.

So, unless you're interesting in seeing characters suddenly display powers they never had before to get out of a jam then this isn't the series for you. But, really, perhaps I expected too much from a series whose main character is a vampire named Alucard. *ugh*

49. Dragon Ball Z: Oh no! There's a super powerful enemy coming! Time to train! Training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... now let's fight! We defeated him! Wait, he's back and more powerful than we can imagine! Training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... training... now let's fight again! Super powerful world destroying move!!!!! We won! What!? Another, even more powerful enemy!?!? Lather...rinse...repeat.

48. Bubblegum Crisis: Fairly standard cyberpunk fair. Aside from being one of the earliest animes I've ever seen, it was rather forgettable. But what really bothered me was the fact that there never was anything within the series actually labeled "The Bubblegum Crisis." False advertising, I'd say.

47. MacGyver: Sure, MacGyver is synonymous with about 1,000 late '80s\early '90s "getting out of a jam with a bubblegum wrapper, rubber band and rusty nail" jokes, but this was kind of a fun show with a fairly unique premise.

Unfortunately, it was very much an 80's show. It had little depth, character development or continuity. After a while, the show takes on a "been there done that" feel to it. Getting out of dire situations with household objects can only hold it's appeal for so long.

As a side note, I wonder if the younger generation only associates this show with oddly timed MacGruber SNL sketches and movie.

46. Nowhere Man: Never heard of Nowhere Man? I wouldn't be surprised. It was a short lived TV series that aired during the early years of the now defunct network UPN. However, check out this description from Wikipedia:

"Nowhere Man is the tale of a photojournalist named Thomas Veil. After leaving to use the restroom while out to dinner with his wife, Tom returns to find that his life has been "erased." His wife does not recognize him and is living with another man. His ATM cards no longer work. His best friend turns up dead. His mother was previously recovering from a stroke, so she is incapable of confirming his existence. In the course of a single evening, every trace of Tom's identity has been erased."

Sounds pretty sweet, eh? I thought it was a fairly unique series back in the mid-90's. Turns out it was a bit ahead of it's time as it would have fit in quite nicely with some of today's television shows.

Unfortunately, like most of the shows of its kind, it falls into the trap of the viewer watching the series to get answers but then realizing they will never get answers until the series is ending. In fact, by watching the show you're encouraging the writers to NOT give you answers. So really, you should not watch the show so it gets low ratings and thus it will end and give you answers.

That's actually what kind of happened. Nowhere Man only lasted a season so it ended but did give the viewer enough answers. Other, more prominent shows faced similar problems but took a different approach to the giving of answers....but that's a tale for a later post.

10 comments:

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i remember nowhere man, though i didn't watch it.

Have you watched any Dragon Ball Z Kai? Which is dragon ball z with all the training and building up of powers cut out, which was only put in because the show had caught up to the manga

Anne said...

what sarah said

Teebore said...

@Dr. Bitz: But, really, perhaps I expected too much from a series whose main character is a vampire named Alucard.

What? I don't get it? Oh, NOW I get it. :)

Interestingly, the Alucard "name" dates back to the third of Universal's Dracula pictures, Son of Dracula, in which the Count's son (played by Lon Chaney Jr., of Wolfman fame) shares his father's name, only spelled backwards (for some reason).

Sorry. I've been reading a book about the Universal monster movies...

What!? Another, even more powerful enemy!?!? Lather...rinse...repeat.

Oh man, I really hope Soapfish reads this. Then again, I'm not entirely sure he'd disagree with you...

I've watched very little MacGyver through the years. I honestly don't know if I've ever watched a full episode start to finish, though I've seen bits and pieces of several.

In true Minnesotan horn-tooting fashion, did you know Richard Dean Andersen is a local boy? He went to high school with my dad.

I've never seen Nowhere Man, but I've heard of it/recall its existence. I'm not sure, but it might be one of those intriguing short-lived series that pops up on a lot of critics "gone too soon" lists of series that were canceled prematurely.

Then again, I could be confusing it with the numerous other short-lived series that appear on such lists...

Dr. Bitz said...

@Falen: I once saw on a Saturday morning that there was something called Dragon Ball Z Kai but when I watched it it just looked like a regular episode fo Dragon Ball Z. I was confused. But now it makes more sense that certain episodes were cut out.

But really, the extensive training sequences weren't the only issues with DBZ. Even the action sequences tended to drag on.

@Teebore: I believe MacGyver used to wear U of M sweaters every once in a while.

Also, I wonder if I watched Nowhere Man again if it would rise up ranking?

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Richard Dean Anderson also went to highschool with our uncle! (our dad's quite a bit younger than both of them)

It was one of the best things i loved about Jack on Stargate, that he was from MN just RDA which made it "legit"

Teebore said...

@Sarah: It was one of the best things i loved about Jack on Stargate, that he was from MN just RDA which made it "legit"

I also loved that he was a huge Simpsons fan on the show (and in real life).

You'll have to tell me your uncle's name sometime, see if my dad knows him.

Soapfish (Brother Teebore) said...

Dragonball made contemporary shounen and it made anime a force in America. You're not giving the series its due.

All of the manga greats acknowledge Dragonball. Toriyama's influence on Eichiro Oda and One Piece alone (one of the biggest critical, and THE biggest financial, manga/anime successes in Japan) makes it a legend. I could go on ad infinitum as to why Dragonball is great, but I will spare everyone.

I will say, Dr. Bitz, that unless you've experienced a recent rediscovery your opinions on Dragonball are those of 2002 Funimation dubbed, Toonami blocked, filler full, 10-years-out-of-context, ass-backwards-episode-1-is actually-180 bullshit and as such your view is negatively skewed.

I'm not saying it's for everyone, and the fact that 95% of the series redundancy is due to production forces outside the creator's control doesn't negate the fact that those redundancies still exist, but to not give credit where it is due is just unfair.

If it interests anyone I would be willing to post links to various readings in support of Dragonball's greatness and it's contributions to contemporary Japanese comics and animation, (I've been kind of writing a thesis on the series' impact on the creation and transition of Neo-Shounen) but as I'm sure none of you are actually interested in the details of the production and history of Japanese comics aimed at asian 10 year-olds and aging twenty-somethings I will leave it at that. Unless someone is genuinely interested in reading into it. I will leave you with a link to a good "Why Dragonball is cool" post from Anime News Network for anyone with a slight lingering interest.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/house-of-1000-manga/2011-03-10

Also, per usual, I apologize for my lack of finesse in grammar and vocabulary. Not only am I a person who benefits from editing, I also haven't slept in over a day.

Soapfish (Brother Teebore) said...

Seriously read that link. It will give you a better appreciation for Dragonball.

Dr. Bitz said...

I suppose I should first note that I am evaluating Dragon Ball Z based on the Toonami Animation block. That's the series I saw so that's what gets evaluated. If I saw another version perhaps it would be ranked differently?

However, even if you did take out all the series filler, DBZ still wouldn't climb into my upper echelon of TV series. I find the show can be a bit too zany for my tastes and the action is too over the top.

Don't get me wrong, I like over the top action more than a majority of people, but when it reaches the point of characters shooting energy blasts from their hands creating gigantic holes in mountain sides, it's even too much for me.

(And don't get me started on the mass murdering Vegeta's "redemption." http://gentlemenofleisure1.blogspot.com/2009/08/purple-redemption.html)

I should also note that just because something is culturally significant and influential does not necessarily make it good. Even more importantly, it doesn't mean it's good to me, since I'm ranking on my personal opinion.

That being said, I will note that some series get bumped higher up on my list even if the show's premise isn't my cup a tea because I recognize that what they did they did very well.

I did read your link and I do disagree with some of "what makes Dragon Ball Z awesome." First of all, unique animation is all well and good but good animation alone is never enough for me to enjoy a series. Plot is much more important to me. (Although, I will admit that bad animation can detract from my enjoyment of a series.)

Also, as I've noted before in other comments, making up a story as it goes along will never impress me.

But it's not like I can't appreciate anything Dragon Ball Z brought to the table nor do I not recognize it's influence. It's just that the series I saw (on Toonami) is a series that had many flaws and that I really have no desire to watch again.

Anonymous said...

we just finished dragonball (I've seen Z back in the day) and I like it better than most of z. dont think I'll bother with kai. I still gotta see GT. why? because I got this far, should probably finish it.

Didnt see nowhere man but liked macguyver as a kid. also liked punky brewster so that shows how much taste I had as a kid :)

>^,,^<