Intro: In anticipation for what I hope to be the 4th video release off of The Basics 2, I have decided to create a bevy of lists. What kind of lists, you ask? Top 5 lists OF COURSE! I mean, its only natural really…. When not rapping, writing rapz or emailing people about rap-rap related ish, I spend my time, a good portion of it anyway, watching movies and TV shows. Only, the problem is, that my personality sometimes has a hard time allowing me to do this without feeding me guilt via my subconscious. So, if I write about it in the ‘ol blog which has some link to my #raplife, I can askew the guilt by tricking my brain into thinking it has something to do with my business! I WIN!
Alright, lets do this.
5. FRINGE JJ Abrams, I finally forgive you for LOST (Not really, but I just pretend the network fucked you over). Fringe is like the X-files part deux (is this a real word?), revamped for a more tech-savvy and sarcastic generation (Insert Pacey aka Charlie from Mighty Ducks here). They keep it a little bit lighter than the X-Files dark tendencies and they threw in the whole Matrix-esque, mind-fuck of “what if this Universe isn’t really real?!?” thing. Its old hat but if you have never done acid, it really does the trick. If you have done acid, then its fun because you go, “remember when we did acid? THAT SHIT WAS CRAZY!” The crazy, super-genius dad in the show is my favorite. He is actually charming for the most part with his little quirks and usually steals the show. The lead blond actress isn’t my favorite but I spend most of her on-screen time trying to figure out if I think she is hot or not so she gets the pass just for distracting me. I am leaning toward not, at present, but I just can’t say for certain.
In the end, its just a fun show and although it lulls at places, it keeps me intrigued with some complex but followable subplots and charming even if cheeky characters. The reality of its genius and what keeps me hooked is what Abrams does best. He put in the forefront of the plot that which we want to know more about but know nothing about really – quantum physics, telekinesis, mufti-dimensional travel and of course government conspiracy. I’m a sci-fi nerd – this shit does it for me.
4. DEXTER Fun fact: DID YOU KNOW that Deb and Dexter who play brother and sister on the show are actually husband and wife? It’s true, Google it yo. Okay, so this show is the shit – if you ain’t hip and you’re not a Mormon or something – stop sleepin’. In TV and film, no matter how much of it is RIDICULOUS, the plot has to make you believe it could happen. That’s the fun – TV is just like drugs, I wanna escape, if you bring me back to reality, I’m rehabbing off your drug and looking for a new one. And Dexter is THEE craziest because I think MOST (see what I did there) people do not want to be a serial killer but somehow in Dexter, you’ll be watching it going, “I hope Dex stabs the shit out of this fucker and drops em off his boat!” Don’t lie, you thought that too. BUT man, the season with Jimmy Smits was a big bag of buzzkill. I almost gave up on it and became a hater a-la weeds (fuck that show) but then…….. JOHN LITHGOW. Not only was this the baddest mutherfucker on the planet but that season of Dexter was probably my favorite season of television ever. And the end of season *SPOILER* with the bathub…. and the baby….. and the wife and the yaaaa know…DDDAAAAMMMM!! THAT SHIT CRAY!
In the end, Dexter allows you to feel good about your bad side. I give it some leeway because it has to be an incredibly difficult show to write but if you want to see how fun bad can be, just watch the first 3 seasons and pretend the next never happened. This gets the number 4 spot on my list because of Season 3 and John Lithgow.
3. SIX FEET UNDER This is without a doubt, the best TV show that I have ever seen. Now, you might wonder if I say that, why is it number 3? Well, it’s the best writing, best acted, funniest, most touching but its not my favorite. Let me clarify with a rap metaphor. Ice-T and/or Aesop Rock is/are my favorite rappers but does that mean they are the best? No, they are just my favorite. I guess I could argue that they are the best but we would probably just argue in circles forever. There is no arguing that this show is the best. Six Feet Under deals with great honesty, care and comic genius the topic of death. It follows a family who owns a funeral home in Southern California after the Father of the family dies in an unexpected car crash. This scene and the entire show is extremely harsh and intense but somehow they masterfully tow the line between comedy and tragedy. As is good writing, right? In storytelling, the great dilemma is finding a way for your audience to relate to your themes and topics. Well, death is the greatest common denominator and it may have been easy to get away with some easily relatable subject matter: fear, acceptance, etc. of death but they never pulled punches and crafted some very real story and genuine characters. I watched this show at a marathon pace in which I have never watched any show before and when it ended, I cried like a little girl with a skinned knee. REAL TEARS, REAL GROWN MAN TEARS…. I’m a pisces, I’m sensitive – don’t you fucking judge me! You watch it, you’ll cry too God dammit!
Seriously though, this show is profound TV craftsmanship. It’s definitely not for everyone as its quirky and weird and very relationship oriented but for any TV show connoisseur, this is a must. And I didn’t actually cry, I just said that because, ya know, for dramatic effect and stuff, I was totally just kidding. Totally kidding. Don’t tell anyone I cried because I’ll just say it was a joke…. Seriously, haha. =/
2. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA I love science fiction. I love science fiction. I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE FICTION. I believe humans are far more capable of things than we give ourselves credit for. I believe that if you put something unbelievable out in the ether, it can be realized through the power of human ingenuity and imagination. So for me, the genre of science fiction is a breeding ground for science non-fiction, unrealized… at least, in my wildly-fantastical, crazy brain. The problem with science fiction is that for the most part, it is cheesy as FUCK! Battlestar Gallactica took out the cheese and finally gave it some panache. It also did the whole apocalypse-porn thing before it was cool too. I know that’s wack to say (I knew about *blah blah* before it was cool to!……. SHUT UP!) BUT it did! ……It did though. Seriously guys………. Ok, so if you don’t know, BSG is about a planet, like ours, with a people, like ours, that created a population of robots that turned on them and started a war. They disappear from the planet and return only to blow the whole planet up. AND NOW, they look like us- ONLY WAY HOTTER! (Well, the ladies at least *quagmire voice* alllrrrright). The only ones to survive are a few thousand people and one military ship, yep you guessed it, the Battlestar Galactica. So now, they have to fight the robots (called cylons) and find a new planet (Earth) to call home. No spoilers, they tell you all that in the opening credits. Seriously, in every episode they tell you all that. This show also played with and discussed, without discussing, a myriad of topics that are not ok to talk about in mainstream TV and cinema without it sounding like an episode of Oprah – Interracial couples, racism, sexism, ageism, adoption, oppression, genocide, religion. In essence, this show has massive depth without shoving it down your throat and blows some shit up just so you know its still an action show. The untold secret in sci-fi is there is no rules. So you can put more than one brown-skinned person in the cast and people’s brain’s won’t cramp until shutting down – IMAGINE THAT SHIT! BSG takes advantage of this fact and never even winks knowingly. It just does it because it’s good storytelling. For example, the main love story of the show is between a white, 50-something, woman-president dying of cancer and a Hispanic, pockmark-faced, slightly alcoholic, crotchety Colonel and I, a mid-twnties rapper ate that shit up. It was just well done.
In the end, this show has it all: sex, violence, philosophy, relationships, fantasy, religion, revolution, internal struggle, the age old search for more. and its just fun too. You can be a casual TV watcher and like it or a huge sci-fi nerd and like it or neither and you will probably still like it. It’s just one of those shows that works.
1. ARCHER Ok, so after, all the crying (KIDDING!) and metaphysical plight and depth and shit ( when you say “and shit” it lightens the mood after saying something serious in the rap world. Try it. It works.) What do I really enjoy the most? Crass, immature, slightly-offensive, mock-espionage, animated debauchery? YES. I haven’t laughed this hard watching anything ever. I don’t even know how to explain this show – If you watch this show, then you already know. If you don’t watch this show – please watch the following clips and your life should forever be changed.
I could post clips forever. There is not one episode that isn’t funny. I tend to be a slightly goofy person but I spend far too much time thinking about serious stuff that doesn’t matter that much and can make a person go crazy. This show is like my zen paradise to remind me to lighten up. I forget everything and just laugh because its so out of control. And for that, it gets the number 1 spot.
Outro: NOW, let the debate begin. As in my song, the whole point is to start the dialogue. I’m curious to hear about your favorite shows and maybe discover some new ones. I actually thought about this list pretty long and just for the sake of debate I’m going to throw in the honorable mention below.
Honorable Mention: The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Family Guy, Game Of Thrones, Anthony Bourdain: No reservations, Daily Show, Colbert Report, Boardwalk Empire, Chappelles Show.
Next Up: Top 5 MOVIES!