Top 10 in TV shows…

It’s another list. This time we’re counting down the top ten TV shows according to SF Daddy!

As always, I’m gearing this list with the kiddos in mind. No it’s not going to be a teletubbie list, they were way out there even for this freaky SF dad.

Torchwood – I’m not going to pretend that I’ve seen this whole series yet, but after the first few episodes and the praise I’ve been reading, as a spin off of Dr. Who which also has some smart kick-butt female action stars, this one makes it to my list.

Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars: The Clone WarsImage by Lunchbox Photography via Flickr

Star Wars The Clone Wars – Star Wars is known for its leading ladies with attitude. The storyline in this animated venture is not short on them either. Joining Padme is Ahsoka, a Jedi sidekick for Anakin who is almost more hotheaded than he is. Season two introduced Arra Sing an awesome bounty hunter with a taste for collecting Jedi. We fanboys have been talking about Ms. Sing since her 2-second cameo in Episode I. Next season we’re treated with more from her and another Jedi favorite who was spared at the last minute from death in Episode III in the edit room floor. Shak Ti joins the show this fall. Great thing about this series is that it’s available online. http://starwars.com/theclonewars/guide/episode001.html

Pushing Daisies

Pushing DaisiesImage via Wikipedia

We’re starting a theme here… much like Moonlighting and Cheers, where the two leads are cursed in some way from ever being together. In most cases the show’s demise is the only thing that ever comes out of the leads finally getting together. Pushing Daisies was a great confection. Literally. The Pie Man made magical pies from rotten fruit he brought back to life with his magically touch. He can do that trick on animals and people too, but a second touch sends them back to their death. Too bad he brought his secret love back to life one day. Now if he ever touches her again she’s dead for good. So instead they bake pies and solve murder mysteries together in a beautiful technicolor dream like comic book land created by Bryan Fuller and EP’d by Barry Sonnenfield– another personal hero.

Photo: Legend Of The SeekerImage by darkchacal via Flickr

Legend of the Seeker – The ladies in this house love this show mostly because of Kahlan Amnell – the Mother Confessor.

As a Confessor, she has the power to magnify the love a person has within them for her, allowing her to control the person. This power allows her to serve the people of the Midlands, who respect and fear her.  In Kahlan’s quest to defeat Rahl, her role is to protect the Seeker with her life. She develops a deep love for Richard, which is torment for them both since her Confessor’s powers would be inadvertently unleashed in a moment of intimacy, making it impossible for Richard and Kahlan to act on their feelings for each other. Executive producer Robert Tapert describes Kahlan as “a female action hero for 2009.

Firefly – That’s right! Yee Ha! This is one of those shows you’re going to hear a lot about until you actually sit down and rent it. You just have to give it a try. We attempted to watch during it’s run but the networks messed us all up. So we eventually discovered this gem on DVD. Go ahead and put it in your Netflix cue now…

Georgia Outdoors – Our Georgia PBS station presents topics about our state from gardening to paleontology. Take that Pokemon! Check out your PBS station to see what you can learn about your own backyard.

Let’s continue to bend the parameters of this TV list. As TV is evolving, let’s add some space to for a couple of internet shows and series.

The Guild – Sweet little nuggets of pure fun. Just geeky enough to try out a few online games and even more dairing to actually go out and meet some of the guild in real life when invited to a Pirate meet, I know this series a little too well. The DVDs are available from Netflix and they stream as one long ‘movie’ but if the short nuggets are more you speed, check them out on their native site: http://www.watchtheguild.com/

Sad, but here’s a Flash video of the first episode. Sad because it won’t show up on your iPad (yet?).
<a href=”http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&fg=Xbox_Channel_GUILD_S4_FINAL&vid=69704ce9-eef1-4f98-8ea4-ecbf68e23192″ target=”_new” title=”Season 1 – Episode 1: Wake-Up Call”>Video: Season 1 – Episode 1: Wake-Up Call</a>

TED Talks. If you haven’t discovered TED yet, go now.  It’s more Science and Fantasy than fiction. Real people with fantasies of how we can change the world one person at a time. Here’s one on the Happiness Index. Love these things… they even show up in your Tivo if you let them! We’ve blogged about several of these in the past.

Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world

When the girls are older….

Trade paperback cover of Buffy: Season Eight V...Image via Wikipedia

Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel – The monsters in these shows are a bit much for our smaller audience, but the kick-butt girls are certainly a good frolic when we’re older. Our most-est favorite episode “Hush” just made it onto the SyFy / Blastr list of best episodes ever. What qualifies as a best episode? You know the episode by name is a good indication! Buffy is so well written and smart. We were just married and growing up a few years ahead of Buffy, but Ms. SF Daddy used the show as a topic of conversation with her high school kids. She often found common ground with the kids through the shows they both enjoyed. She liked using this show in particular to talk about teen issues and the portrayal of women in media. Good Stuff.

And okay, this one’s for the very little ones: Have you seen Dinosaur Train? Really? Another PBS offering. We don’t graze through the channels like a lot of kids do, but one morning we had a flat tire and found ourselves at the local Firestone. While waiting for the tire to get fixed, we sat through an episode of Dinosaur Train. My 6 year old (Red2) fell in love. Sure it didn’t hurt that there’s a little Henson magic behind the scenes. Figures. They aren’t just cute dinos, but they actually get the real names out in a catchy way.

Very much a different list for you. Can’t wait so see your list!

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D23 Expo: The Search for Harry Potter Part 7 of 6

Image by bluemoose via Flickr

This series of posts began as a hunt for peaks inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Harry’s adventure ride through the books that opened this summer. We’re all pretty big fans of the kid.

We’ve been waiting for the theme park to open up patiently at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure and began our searching through blogs for pictures of the construction.

We found slews of news stories to tease us of possible equipment to be included in the ride. Sounds like this roboarm or Strong Arm, actually did win out in the end.

As launch approached and the fanfare started, we tried to find clips of what the park looked like from the inside! The numbers grew really fast. Walk throughs of the shops and long loving looks at window displays, but we wanted to see the good stuff. We were looking for the big ride.

Even on opening day it took the bloggers a while to get the ‘ride through’ clips posted. We had already seen a few videos of the que. The line show where you walk the grounds of Hogwarts, explore the halls, chat with the paintings, get the ride story from visions of the characters themselves, but it took another day or so to see the videos from inside the ride itself.

We’d been enjoying video clips of rides at other parks. Sharing stories of the evolution of the Jaws ride at Universal Studios. (The first year it opened, the boat skipper blew the shark up into big bloody-looking pink floating chunks of shark meat. It was closed up pretty quickly.) There are so many good stories. The girls like hearing about the rides that have closed too.

Photo of the Back to the Future studio car. Th...Image via Wikipedia

The Back to the Future ride was the best. It was so revolutionary in its day. One of the first “flying car” rides inside an IMAX((?)) theater. When it opened up the parks were going through a great transformation of ride technology and LINE deception. As a perpetual patron, I really appreciated the “pre-show” line entertainment. Even the very simple solutions of TV sets running cartoons and the addition of actual fans to cool you off.

But I must get back to the thread…  We were searching for the clips that showed the inside of the ride itself. After finally finding it I was terribly disappointed. NOT in the ride, but in the ability of the riders to be able to capture the ride on video. They couldn’t! It was too dark. Too fast. Too much for the little cameras to capture it all. It was even almost too much for the microphones to handle.

This is the clip we finally saw that freaked everyone out a bit. It’s a spoiler so don’t click on it if you want to stay in the dark. (Which is kind of a joke, because half of it IS just blackness!)

What I learned was that perhaps the little ones need a little more time to age before we embark to Hogwarts. I’d hte to get them there and not feel comfortable letting them ride the Big Ride. What a let down that would be. But, man, I can’t wait. And after a year or so, they’ll have some of the bugs (not the good ones, they promise) worked out. Getting stuck on this one seems like it would be a blast too.

Looking forward to the day we get to go. This explains how we got ourselves distracted and started enjoying the D23 clips. The anticipation may be more fun than some of the rides and places themselves. The dreams of princesses and dragons will have to do. We have the books. And all the other books with no rides and theme parks.

I think we’ll be fine as we wait.

To read all of the posts in this series, click on the keyword “wonder”. I reserved that word for this series. Enjoy!

[Link to the Harry Potter wiki for more details.]

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A Dream from March. Star Wars Episode III – Not.

It was the new Star Wars movie. On TV.

Princess Leia and Han Solo were aboard yet another Death Star. Darth Vadar was still threatening the galaxy, but they had him on the run. A new group of smugglers had been assembled and Harvey Kietel was the main big shot. Of course an old acquaintance of Han, and “just here to do a job”. He seemed very out of place, 1st because he was so recognizable and 2 because he was wearing light blue plaid shorts.

The rebels forced DV out of an airlock, but just outside, DV ‘flies’ up to another airlock and reenters the Death Star.

Luke is on a planet that is DV’s next target. The DS shoots tiny green lasers at the planet. (I’m really big and they don’t hurt me. I’m floating in space watching this.) Instead of blowing the planet up, the lasers just really mess it up. On the ground we see tidal waves followed by bolder waves. Huge pieces of rock streaming across the landscape. They miss my childhood house.

Luke survives.

Leia gives a speech about how this isn’t the real problem, the real problems are back home in Afghanistan and car pools.

I couldn’t believe how badly written the movie was. Everyone hated it. I asked my wife if it was just a dream and the real one hadn’t been on yet. Then I realized that I had seen the trailer for the new movie and it was supposed to be completely different than this. Very relieved.