Friday, November 26, 2010

Quick Update

Just a quick message this time, after reading my last post and realizing how long and semi-rambly it was I think I need to try to work on getting my thoughts into a better more readable form since I am still very new to blogging so there is probably going to be more of a delay till my next TV show post, quite possibly a very long delay if I haven't come up with anything before December 7th as after that I will be playing the new WoW Expansion far too much.  I am going to the Distant Worlds concert tomorrow so I will probably write up a post about that sometime in the next few days

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Favorite TV Shows - Show #1

I have been trying to think of something that I could write a series of posts about in an effort to try and write something on here a little more regularly.  Given that and following the advice I'd heard from a wise person "write what you know" so I started to think of what do I know well and what might at least slightly interesting for others to read.  After thinking about it for awhile I decided to write a post about some of my current favorite TV shows since I do spend probably too much time watching these shows and it is something I can do over a couple of posts as I can do one each on shows I enjoy the most.  That being said let me start of with one of my absolute favorite shows: Stargate Universe.

Stargate Universe is the latest show in the Stargate franchise.  The basic premise of the show is that a group of people both military and civilians end up trapped aboard an Ancient starship which they cannot control with no way home.  It may not be the most unique premise for a sci-fi show but what they have been able to do with it is absolutely amazing.  Stargate Universe is a very character driven show as a lot of the drama, action and energy of the show comes from the interactions and relationships that form between these characters.  The characters on SGU are one of the main things that first got me interested in the show and that even now maintain my interest in this show.  All of the characters in the show are real, they all have their own strengths, weaknesses, flaws, beliefs and quirks and it is a pretty good bet that you'll be able to identify with at least one of the main characters if not more and perhaps in different ways which was my experience.  Perhaps the greatest thing about the characters though is that fact that they actually do grow and change and develop over the course of the show which is something that you don't often find in a lot of shows as it can mean that they aren't interesting or likable as soon as you see them.  SGU is currently in its second season and I can honestly say that at this point there aren't any characters that I think are pointless or that I don't feel some sense of investment in.   Dispite the fact that when I was watching the first season there were definitely characters I didn't like and at times wished the story would move onto the characters I found more interesting.  It is because of these amazing characters and the journey that they take that I think SGU is one of the few sci-fi shows that people who normally aren't interested in the genre could really enjoy if they gave it a chance.

That being said, there is certainly a lot more going for SGU aside from the characters, the music in the show for one thing is unbelievable, I honestly don't know what I can say about it other then to just go and watch and listen for yourself, it is really beyond words especially when hearing it for the first time.  The graphics and visual effects of the show are also incredible, I was re-watching some of the episodes from the first season and just blow away again by just how amazing a lot of the show looks and not only that but how much the show continues to look amazing but in a way that supports the story and immersion of the show rather then in a huge showy display that while does look cool for the moment can sometimes take you out of the flow of the show I have found.

Each of these elements on their own is amazing but when they are all put together and all work with each other strengthening and supporting each other the effect is just mesmerizing.  In the case of SGU the whole is definitely greater then just the sum of its parts.  However I think for me at least the thing that I love the most about the show is just how committed it seems that everyone that is a part of it is to making sure it is the best it can be.  I mentioned in my previous post how much I enjoyed listening to the commentaries on the season 1 DVD not only because they were very interesting and entertaining to listen to but also because it showed how much the people (usually some of the cast) supported and cheered for their fellow cast members and as I have seen on twitter how excited and supportive the crew and the writers are of the actors they work with.  And just as if to confirm this earlier today when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to say in this I saw I message on Twitter from Mark Savela who does visual effects work on SGU showing a picture of a set of dog tags that apparently the cast had given to the crew for their work on SGU which I thought was a really nice gesture.  To me this clear interest and commitment from the people working on both in front and behind the camera on the show translates through into the show itself helping to make it what it is.

Despite all of this SGU hasn't had the ratings that it definitely deserves and sadly enough I think a lot of it comes from the fans of SG1 and SGA who seem to feel the need to attack the show because it is quite different from its predecessors.  I can understand if you don't enjoy something not watching it but I don't understand these people who claim to be "Stargate" fans and yet continue to attack and berate the show.  SGU is indeed a stargate show it is just a different type of stargate show, it is a little more serious, it is a little darker but that doesn't mean it isn't a stargate show.  The story in SGU does start off a little slowly in season 1 but if you look at it in the bigger picture it makes perfect sense why that is the case as that is in all likely would actually happen, when you start off pretty much with nothing it is going to take awhile to get things going and as season 2 has proven so far now that they have that foundation things are definitely starting to pick up in terms of pace.  Another thing I have often heard said against SGU is that isn't funny and is missing all the humor that was present in the other stargate shows which I can't agree with at all.  There is plenty of humor in SGU it is definitely more of a subtle humor but it is definitely there.  It really wouldn't make sense in the context of SGU to have the same kind of humor that is in the earlier shows but the same comic sensibility is definitely there just adapted to fit with the type of show SGU is.

I know this post has been fairly long but there is one last thing I would like to mention, SGU is approaching the end of the first half of Season 2 and how well it does will likely have an impact on whether it is picked up for a third season or not.  It is because of this that I have joined a group of SGU fans to try to raise awareness of this great show and try to get as many others as we can to start or continue to watch SGU live on whatever channel it airs on where you live (Tuesday on Syfy for the US and Friday on Space for Canada are the only ones I know of).  If you would like to help us do what we can to try to make sure that SGU gets another season please tell anyone you think might be interested in the show to give it a chance, also every tuesday while the show is airing we are supporting the show by including #SGU and #giveSGUseason3 in any of the messages you send on twitter.  I have included a link to the website for the SGU Awareness Campaign in the links section of my blog you can also follow @SGUAwareness on Twitter.  Thank you very much to the entire cast and crew of Stargate Universe for such an amazing show which I will enjoy for a long time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Morning with Stargate Universe

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate that I was able to attend the taping of the Innerspace SGU (Stargate Universe) Special this morning especially since the entire cast of the show was going to be there.  Although it ended up taking me longer then I had hoped to get there due to traffic it was an amazing experience.  I had never been to any kind of filming of anything before nor had I ever had the opportunity to meet any of the actors that I have admired so as you can imagine I was quite excited this morning.

When I first got to where they were doing the taping there was already a respectable line formed for getting in and I was a little worried at first that the studio might fill up before I got in since I hadn't the slightest idea how big the studio was or how many people they needed for the audience but I got in without any troubles.  Once I got into the studio itself I got to my seat and not long after that one of the hosts of Innerspace came onto the stage they had setup and welcomed us all and we then got to watch the newest episode of SGU (which is an amazing episode).  After that they began to setup for the live taping and it was interesting to see them getting everything ready and then one of the managers came out and gave us all a few instructions for the taping what we couldn't do and when we should and shouldn't applaud.  I won't go into any detail about the actual show itself as it is going to be on tonight at 10pm EST on the Space Channel and I'd highly recommend anyone to watch it then.  What was interesting was watching during the breaks in filming where I imagine the commercials will be watching the SGU cast interacting with the audience and talking amongst themselves while the crew for Innerspace were doing any necessary changes for the next section.

After the filming for the special was finished a bunch of the cast of SGU stayed to sign a cast photo that was provided to those of us that wanted to stay for the signing.  Although watching the new episode early and getting to see the filming of the special was interesting, it was getting to meet a lot of the cast face to face and get them to sign a photo for me that was really the highlight of the experience.  I really wasn't sure at all what to expect as like I mentioned earlier this was the first time I'd ever met any celebrities or gotten any autographs for anyone, but all of the cast that I met were incredibly friendly.  I got to shake hands with Brian J Smith, David Blue, Jamil Walker Smith (who despite being gruff and menacing in SGU is an amazingly nice guy) and Ming-Na which was wonderful, I got a high five from Alaina Huffman which was awesome and got to briefly say hello to Elyse Levesque and Louis Ferreira and I have a cast photo signed by each one of them.  I feel incredibly honored to have had the chance to meet them and think it is great that they stayed to do this for the fans despite I'm sure being exhausted from flying into Toronto and appearing on another show before the taping of the special I was at.

Ever since I started watching Stargate Universe I have enjoyed it since the show really focuses on the characters within it all of which are interesting but also flawed each in their own way which makes it a lot easier to connect to them and really helps drive the tone of the show.  I don't think I really started to love the show as much as I do now until I started listening to the cast commentaries on the first season DVDs as they just showed how connected the cast was as they would comment and cheer for the different actors as they appeared in the show regardless of how large a role they played in the actual series and it is probably because of that that I think SGU is the only show where I know the names of all the actors as well as the names of their characters even for most of the secondary characters and I think that says a lot about the cast and why the show is as amazing as it is.  If anyone hasn't checked out Stargate Universe even if you haven't seen any of the previous series or aren't usually a fan of science fiction I'd recommend giving it a chance as the characters themselves are incredibly compelling.  Well this has certainly gone on rather long so I'll conclude it here by saying thank you to the Space Channel and Innerspace for doing this special and thank you to the cast of Stargate Universe for coming to do it and for creating such an amazing show that I love all the more now.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


I was originally going to mention this in my earlier first post but as I thought about it I figured it made more sense to create this as its own entry.  Twitter was one of the social networking tools I had considered when I decided I wanted to stretch myself by trying to get involved in web community but I initially dismissed it.  I don't have a lot of friends nor am I very socially active and so for someone like me it seemed kinda pointless.

It wasn't until recently when I was watching an interview that Felicia Day did that something she said made me think of a good use I could put Twitter to.  She had mentioned that one of the things she liked about Twitter was that it allowed more of a direct connection with her fans.  This got me to thinking that it could also be used in reverse for fans to give feedback to people they wouldn't normally have any real communication with.  Because of this I have since joined Twitter and decided that since I tend to watch a lot of TV shows I would use it to basically say thank you to the actors and writers of the shows I enjoy.  So these days if I watch a show or movie or anything I really enjoy I will send a quick message to the actor/writer/show if they are on Twitter saying that I enjoyed it whereas before I would merely think "wow that great" and that would be it.  Now I am well aware that a lot of these people probably get tons of messages, and there is a good chance that they may never actually be seen and just lost in the stream of other messages they receive and that it is even less likely that if they are seen I will not get a reply.  Which is completely understandable as I know that if I was in that position I would do the same thing and I am sure that the vast majority of people would as well.  That is why I try to make sure that everything I say or sent on there is first of all true and second is indeed to send feedback and not just sent to try to get a reply.  So my rule of thumb has become before I send anything I ask myself if it is something I would want a stranger to say about me or something I'd done and if the answer is no then I either don't send it or try to re-word it so that it would be appropriate as I am sure the people I am sending messages are very busy and so don't deserve to have their time wasted with pointless messages.  All that being said I think it is a great way for us the fans to give back to the people whose work we enjoy and I know on the few occasions where I have gotten a reply it has meant a great deal to me.

 The one thing I can say I honestly did not expect when I joined Twitter was just how interesting it was to see what some people would say and how others would respond and so while I started off just following the actors/writers/shows I enjoyed it soon started to include people I just found interesting.  I still really don't know all that much about Twitter but I am actually enjoying it more then I thought it would.

Sorry that this entry has become so long I guess I had more to say then I thought I did.  Anyway if you have any comments please leave them or feel free to comment with why you joined or haven't joined Twitter and what you think of it.

Where to Start

Well I have been thinking of starting this blog for awhile now and just never quite gotten around to it so I finally decided I needed to just sit down and start thing and worry about whether or not it is any good later.  I've thought of a number of things I could add or include in this blog but I figured the best place to start would be why I am starting this blog in the first place especially if I have had such a hard time sitting down to write it.  I am starting this blog as part of a desire to push myself towards expanding my boundaries which I imagine requires some explanation.  For most of my life I have always have problems with self-confidence and self-worth which in the past year or so have become quite serious to the point of severely limiting what I actually do with my time and my life.  It is because of this that I decided to start this blog to post some of my thoughts and opinions for whoever is interested which is something I usually shy away from as I often don't think my opinions on things matter, so this along with trying to join into some web communities is a first small step towards breaking out of some of the things that have been holding me back.

So far I have only really joined one web community at Watch the Guild which has been going alright so far but I am awful at judging these things but at least it is a start.  On a side note if anyone hasn't seen the web series The Guild I'd highly recommend it as it is very funny and entertaining, you can watch the episodes either on MSN Video, You Tube or there own website at Watch the Guild.  The show is about a group of gamers that play an MMORPG and what happens when they meet each other outside of the game.  Each episode is about 4 - 6 minutes long so if you haven't seen it I'd recommend giving it a shot even if you aren't a gamer yourself.  Well I think that pretty much covers what I wanted to say in this introductory entry, I don't expect many people will end up reading this but if you do feel free to leave any comments you may have on it.