I mentioned yesterday that I have a “Stargate” t-shrt, which was a promotional shirt for the movie. The only reason I have the shirt is a friend of mine passed it down thinking, “It’s science fiction, Beth’s a nerd, I’ll give it to her!” True, I’m a huge nerd and if goaded can giggle and snort at the same time, a feat that takes some concentration on my part. However, just because I’m a nerd doesn’t mean I like all things nerdy. For example, Stargate. I hated the movie, I tried to watch the TV show and couldn’t take it, and the shirt… well, you have to wear something when you’re doing the laundry in most communities.
A lot of you have been sending me information about the upcoming series finale of SG:1. To you I say “YAY!” and “THANK GOD!” Maybe that time slot will now be open for a decent show to take its place. Oh, don’t you whine, you Lexx, Cleopatra 2525, and Farscape lovers. (Farscape… it had a MUPPET. Do you know what else had Muppets? Fraggle Rock. What other series featured an alien puppet? Alf.) It doesn’t follow that just because it has “science fiction” written in its description I am going to like it or that I have to watch it. There’s not some nerd mandate that says “to wear the nerd taped glasses, you must like EVERYTHING science fiction/fantasy”. If there is, I didn’t sign it so stop trying to sell it at my door or to my e-mail account.
Good science fiction/fantasy in my world: “Lord of the Rings” (the movies, outside of The Hobbit, the other books make me want to take a long nap), “Aliens”, “Terminator”, “The Fifth Element” and almost anything inspired by Phillip K. Dick. Bad science fiction/fantasy “Krull”, anything with Mark Singer, “Aeon Flux” and almost anything that says Star Trek. Although, it still holds a special place in my heart and I’ll watch it despite itself. I may even leap the desk to hug George Takei at the convention. I would also be remiss to leave out the last three Star Wars movies. Jar Jar – just another Muppet, albeit a digitally rendered one, in my world, but don’t you dis Yoda. That Muppet has chops.
Now I have been known to watch some bad science fiction/fantasy, but what seems to separate me from a lot of hardcore nerds is that I can recognize and admit they’re bad. Mutant X – bad, Beastmaster – bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer – bad, and I’m sorry but the 4400 – BAD. Sure, I’ll watch them every time, but I’m not going to try and force them on anyone.
There were some shows I initially wouldn’t give a chance like Firefly. I’d seen Joss Whedon’s work with Buffy and Angel so the thought of watching a space western of his just sounded painful. I was completely wrong and was grateful that someone forced me to sit down and watch. The same was true for Battlestar Galactica. I was against a remake and against human looking cylons (what was wrong with the metal toasters with the red light?). I was wrong again, BSG is simply a fantastic show. Like Firefly, I can pop in one of my DVD’s of BSG and be in nerd-vana.
The way I feel about television shows and movies also applies to Science Fiction/Fantasy writing. I don’t care for the vast majority of it. I love a select handful of authors whose names begin with William Gibson. Of course, Terry Pratchett makes me laugh, but his whole Discworld series mocks fantasy writing and features characters like Cohen the Barbarian – an 80 year old, hunched over, decrepit hero who wears dentures but still manages to get the girls. There’s also a particularly vicious set of luggage made of sentient pear wood that has hundreds of feet and likes to attack people. The bulk of Fantasy stories seem to be a retread where the deposed would-be leader returns to power after much hardship and having confronted his over-the-top evil uncle, brother, cousin, etc. It’s a romance novel wrapped in a Conan cover.
What I’m trying to say, and am taking the long way around, is simply – I don’t care that SG:1 won’t be making any more new shows. Good riddance. Oh, and something about how you shouldn’t pigeon hole my tastes because I’m a nerd who occasionally goes to Science Fiction conventions, blah, blah, blah.