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Now I’m Not The Only One Who’s Been Accused of Hit and Run

December 15, 2011

Good Morning, Girls and Boys. And Spambots.

By now, you may have noticed that there seems to be a running theme with these posts. I seem to only ever talk about politics or music, with the occasional mention of stuff I’ve written or am writing, and then only in the sketchiest of details. I also have an abiding interest in television, movies, books, art, comics, typography, lettering and page layout, and yet I rarely talk about any of those things. Perhaps, just for a moment, I’ll share some of these other interests with you and see what you think.

First off, you need to know that my favourite television program of all time is Doctor Who. That’s old AND new Doctor Who. This is followed shortly by the late, great Farscape. And finally, the third most important television program I am a fan of is Agatha Christie’s Poirot. I have a great and abiding love for all of these programs, though not to the exclusion of all else. What I love about them is that they make me think even as they entertain me, they have iconic characters I love, and the writers rarely take the easy route. Rather than do the obvious thing, they conjure up an even crazier idea and make that the resolution instead. More television needs to try to be less obvious.

Now, other programs I also love or have loved for similar reasons are (in no particular order): Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Torchwood (the first three seasons; that last season was rubbish), Nero Wolfe, Steven Moffatt’s Sherlock, The classic Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series, MASH, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, early SNL, Looney Tunes, Haven, Criminal Minds, Warehouse 13, Eureka, Tin Man, Hatter, the first few seasons of Weeds, Lie To Me, Leverage, Hustle, Dead Like Me, the first season of Heroes, Slings and Arrows, Men With Brooms, Due South (the first two or three seasons), The Game of Thrones, The Duchess of Duke Street, Are You Being Served, Grace and Favour, just about anything with Fry and Laurie (although Jeeves and Wooster was painful whenever they weren’t on the screen), Eddie Izzard or the Pythons, and NOT Ab Fab, because really, I do silly, but I don’t do stupid, and Absolutely Fabulous was loaded with brash, unapologetic stupid. It was like butt lint.

I probably left some good stuff out. One show I definitely left out on purpose was Battlestar Galactica, which I had been enjoying until it got incredibly, unrelentingly depressing. I kid you not; that show was seriously bringing me down. I also went through that with The Tudors and The Pillars of Earth, though they were both excellent series. I also don’t give a sweet damn about Stargate in any flavour I saw, because I’m not that interested in exploration being lead by a military outfit. But Ben Browder and Claudia Black almost saved the show. Almost. And though I was quite a fan in my youth, I couldn’t be happier that the Star Trek TV franchise is on ice right now.

My favourite movies of all time are Blade Runner, Brazil and Four Weddings and a Funeral. There are an awful lot of movies that I love, but these three pretty much define what I write. Everything else can be traced back to these three. And The Highlander. Okay, that makes four, but four is my favourite number anyway, so there you have it.

I’m a huge fan of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart and Humphrey Bogart; I loved almost all of the Road To Movies with Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour and Bob Hope; that White Christmas is a beautiful film, well worth watching around this time every year; I have an abiding fascination with The Marx Brothers and Alfred Hitchcock; I love classical animation (WB, Disney, Fleischer, Walter Lantz, MGM, etc…), and agree that Walt Disney should have made more Fantasia-type pictures instead of all those faerietales; I refuse to seriously consider any argument from those who can’t agree that Grace Kelly was one of the most beautiful and talented actresses ever to appear on the silver screen; that Russell Mulcahy is an unsung cinematic genius, and that The Shadow was a frelling masterpiece; that Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau were perhaps the finest comedy duo of all time; that The Sting was the prototypical con artist story from which all others descend; that Robert Redford and Paul Newman remain two of the most important American movie icons of their generation; that the original Star Wars Trilogy, though overrated, is still the best space opera ever shown in theaters; that Lucas’ greatest film scripts, however, were Radioland Murders and (director Ron Howard’s) Willow; that Indiana Jones needs to have one more adventure before they retire the franchise for good; that Ridley Scott’s Alien is still the scariest Dog-damned sci-fi film ever made; that A Christmas Story is still an untouchable post modern classic period piece that every child needs to see at least once; and that The Game of Thrones proves that The Lord of The Rings would have been better as a long form television series, but that without LoTR, we probably wouldn’t have gotten Game of Thrones.

I also think that Real Genius is an absolute masterpiece, right up there with Better Off Dead and Neil Simon’s Max Dugan Returns as the three greatest unsung teen comedies of the 80s. If you love John Hughes films, you need to see these three films to get the rest of the formula. Real Genius is practically the father of all of SyFy’s contemporary comedy adventure serials (especially Eureka, but also Warehouse 13).

And finally, I am an unrepentant cinematic James Bond fan. I think the franchise has improved drastically since the Sir Roger Moore films (which weren’t all bad), and that Daniel Craig is closer to Ian Fleming’s vision of James Bond than any of the previous actors, including Sir Sean Connery; my favourite bond is still the under-appreciated Timothy Dalton; I believe with all my heart that Pierce Brosnan was unjustly robbed of the chance to play Bond the way he believed the character should be played; and I strongly believe that Sean would NOT have improved on George Lazenby’s performance in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which is still the finest film in the canon.

Okay, this post is getting a bit long in the tooth, so I’m gonna post it and pick this up again tomorrow. Thanks for reading.


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