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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dr. Bitz Ranks Every Television Series Ever...Sorta (Part 7)

Hey, I'm back! I say that for almost every post...probably says something about the frequency of my posts. But it's not my fault, it's Skyrim's.
Anyway, I'm doing some more rankings and we're getting very close to shows I'd recommend! In fact, some of these I would the right people.

30. Life On Mars: I should note that I'm referring to the American version, not the British version. This series is about a detective from the 2000's who ends up in the 1970's. How and why he ended up there (or is it all a dream!) is the crux of this show's mystery.
So you have the Lost-esque mystery of the time travel mixed with a police procedural mixed with a fish-out-of-water scenario. (Apparently, much to the surprise of the main character...and me, in the 70's search warrants, police brutality, Miranda rights and due process are all things cops don't have to worry about. It's the 70's man, you're guilty if the police say your are!)

Anyway, the episodic police procedural cases were actually rather engrossing. But the strength of this show came from its superb acting. Due to its rather ridiculous premise this show could have gone off the rails quickly but the actors sold every scene and kept me watching.
Unfortunately, the mysteries on this show left a lot to be desired. Of course, the mystery is the part of the show I would have liked to be the best. But it wasn't. So, while the show was interesting, I couldn't recommend it.

29. Drive: Those four episodes were really good. I mean it!

28. Witch Hunter Robin: Robin is a woman with special powers who works for a secret government organization that hunts down other people with special powers whose powers have gone out of control. (You'll be shocked to learn that those people are labeled "witches.") But, does this secret government organization have ulterior motives? And, as person with powers herself, how long will it be before Robin is no longer a hunter and becomes one of the hunted!? Alright, it's not the most original premise in the world, but this was an enjoyable anime.
The show starts off as "villain of the week" but it ends up having a rather intriguing overarching story. It was interesting enough. As a matter of fact, I'd say it's worth checking out.

27. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Giant robots battling, intergalactic space politics, long drawn out philosophical debates about the morality of war...what's not to like? It's been a while since I've seen this series but, as I recall, the plot gets a little confusing. Refreshing myself on it has only further confused me.
All I can say for sure is I had no business liking this series as much as I did. But I really did enjoy it. Maybe it was a right time, right place scenario? I was in college and something about giant robots wailing on each other combined with people waxing philosophical about humanity's propensity for violence really resonated with me. In some ways, it still does.

26. Outlaw Star: A space opera involving a gun for hire who winds up captaining a stolen prototype space ship that is designed to navigate to the nexus of the universe filled with treasure, knowledge and power. (Naturally, the ship also contained a rather attractive humanesque female "bioandroid" as a part of its cargo.) So, the crew of the Outlaw Star travel around the galaxy getting into all sorts of misadventures.
I certainly enjoyed this series but the universe of Outlaw Star has magic in it. For whatever reason, sometimes mixing magic with science fiction can weird me out. (But sometimes it doesn't...I'm don't know what the rules are for when I like it and when I don't and I probably never will. Trying to figure out my psyche is a fool's errand.) Anyway, even if it was a little weird to me I didn't mind it too much in this series because I think it fit with the style of the show.
Aside from that, I thought this show was a lot of fun. However, in refreshing myself on the series I was reminded that the version I saw (on Cartoon Network) was heavily edited to filter out nudity and other adult suggestive themes. So now I just feel like I've been missing out.

Up next time: An adult American animated series, a time traveler, a show seemingly made just for me and, of course, more anime.


  1. I've seen parts of Witch Hunter and Gundam, but none of Outlaw Star.
    I wanted to catch Life On Mars, because the premise seemed fun to me, but, alas, i never did

  2. Yeah, I really enjoyed Life on Mars too, and agree with you regarding its flaws. Though I never actually watched the last episode; did it do anything to resolve the mystery of whether he time traveled or was dreaming, or did they leave it open in the foolish hope of coming back for a second season?

    Witch Hunter Robin does sound interesting; how many episodes did it run?

    All I know about Mobile Suit Gundam is that for awhile there, my brother had, more or less, an entire bookcase filled with Gundman figures.

    However, in refreshing myself on the series I was reminded that the version I saw (on Cartoon Network) was heavily edited to filter out nudity and other adult suggestive themes. So now I just feel like I've been missing out.

    Boo, Cartoon Network! Boo!

  3. @Teebore - Witch Hunter Robin was 26 episodes. Fairly standard.

    Lost on Mars did in fact resolve things (no setup for a second season). Of course, for myself, the resolution was less than satisfactory...but simply by virtue of having some resolution (even if it's bad resolution) it probably makes it the best final episode of any of the Lost clones that I've seen. An indictment of the rest of those shows more than anything else.

  4. baroness van bitzenhoferApril 25, 2012 at 5:56 AM

    Oh, Drive. I just want to know how it ended!!

  5. According to IMDB Drive was a "TV Mini-series." Sure it was...but not by choice!


  6. I really liked Life on Mars for both the quirk of its being a procedural cop show set in the 1970s and for its ongoing mystery/mythology — and especially for the combination.

    Alcatraz had (I'm pretty sure it's past tense now) that going for it in a way, although there the overarching enigma and fantasy elements were what directly drove the case of the week like in Fringe. Mars was mostly a detective show, just one under weird circumstances with a lead who was crazy or a time-traveler or under governmental experimentation or... whatever, although elements of conspiracy that seemed to connect things began to emerge.

    While I was pleased that the network gave showrunners the heads-up about Life on Mars' cancellation in time for them to craft an actual series finale, that finale was so awful that I would actually have rather been left wondering and piecing it together myself.

    VW: incesect — n. A bug who does it with his/her family.

  7. omg. You had me at Jason O'Mara. You know, like, as a talented actor and everything.

  8. @Blam - I guess it comes down to what you'd rather have, no resolution or bad resolution. I fall on the side of bad resolution, but I can't argue against no resolution (if the bad resolution is really that terrible).

    I'm fine as long we all agree that preferred solution is good resolution.

    As I think about it, Life on Mars would have benefitted by eschewing the whole mystery portion of the show. Just come up with some BS about a temporal localized worm hole or ancient gypsy curse that sends Sam back to the 70s and go from there.

    @Anonymous - Jason O'Mara reminds me of Vince Vaughn. Teebore's wife objects to such a comparison because she thinks O'Mara is hot while Vaughn is not. I, however, find neither of them sexually arousing...but such is the burden I bear for being a straight male.


  9. @Dr.Bitz: Jason O'Mara reminds me of Vince Vaughn. Teebore's wife objects to such a comparison because she thinks O'Mara is hot while Vaughn is not.

    Teebore's wife is right.

    People remind me of other people all the time, often to distraction, and Jason O'Mara does not remind me of Vince Vaughn — which is not to say that your perception is invalid, nor any empirical commentary upon their hotness. O'Mara does remind me of Mel Gibson, which is not hot. He also looks to me like a studlier, non-weird-nosed version of Glee's Michael Morrison.

    VW: Worgi — Ill-fated Wookie/corgi crossbreed.

  10. I started reading the Full House Reviewed and saw a shout-out to you guys on there from January 2011. Where have I been all this time, missing out on this kind of stuff? Ack.


  11. @Anonymous: Where have I been all this time, missing out on this kind of stuff? Ack.

    You're here now, and that's what matters! Hope you like it.

  12. @Blam: He also looks to me like a studlier, non-weird-nosed version of Glee's Michael Morrison.

    Holy crap, you're right!


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