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Author Topic: Wow! Not liking Babylon 5 so far...  (Read 7532 times)
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #80 on: April 11, 2010, 02:37:24 PM »

Yeah, by Season 3 B5's production values had improved to the point where Deep Space Nine actually poached B5's effects crew. 
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« Reply #81 on: April 11, 2010, 02:57:19 PM »

Quote from: Harkonis on April 11, 2010, 02:19:55 PM

Thought this was humorous, I just started watching B5 and looked this up to see what opinions were.  I share all the exact same opinions as the original post, right down to the fact that I just finished watching all 7 seasons of DS9 right before.  I think the production values of DS9 ruined my chance to enjoy B5 as much as I could. 

I skip that intro every time, I give nods for the realistic physics in space but laugh at the actual special effects.  I like the character of Sinclair, but I find his acting wooden.  Hopefully that lessens, I felt the same about Sisko at first too.

Going to stick it out through all of it, but season 1 is pretty painful so far (I'm at episode 11)

To quote myself: http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php?topic=6768.msg79424#msg79424

Quote
One other thing about the special effects.

B5 was shot in widescreen.  However, the special effects were done in the dimensions of the "normal" TV screen to save money.  Since the DVD's are done in widescreen, the special effects have been stretched to widescreen, so that's why they don't look very good on the DVd.
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« Reply #82 on: April 11, 2010, 04:02:41 PM »

Trying to be light and vague on the spoilers here....

Babylon 5 was a really interesting show. I first watched both DS9 and Babylon 5 on DVD years after they aired, so when I evaluated them I didn't care about things like which one was first or which one was ripped off from the other. Being a fan of both the original Trek and Next Gen, I watched DS9 first and definitely prefer it (it's my favorite Ron Moore show. Yes I like DS9 miles better than the revamped BSG, but that's another thread), but there's still a lot I like about B5.

I don't tend to quite hold B5 in the same lofty regard as many of its fans, but I do think some of it is totally brilliant. I had the same general reaction to season 1. I found Sinclair to be a laughably bad actor. In addition to his wooden delivery, I also found some of his facial expressions to be laughably bad - often conveying a completely inappropriate reaction to what the character was supposedly feeling. But, as season one ended (I had been told in advance that Sinclair was "replaced" in season 2) I actually found myself somewhat sad as I had inexplicably warmed to the Sinclair character - acting foibles and all. The show definitely picks up in Season 2, with Scarecrow being a MUCH better actor and more worthy of leading man status. As others have pointed out season 3 is fantastic and its ending is just superb. Definitely one of the high points of all sci-fi television, and a spectacular moment that even DS9 never quite matched.

After that, though it went downhill in a large way for me. Season 4 shows the wrap up of the 2 major plot threads of the series, and I found both of those endings to be unsatisfying. The "shadows" plot in particular I found to have a completely anti-climactic finish which reminds me a lot of the cheesy Star Trek TNG/Voyager type of ludicrous ending that many of B5's fans are often highly critical of. The "earth" plot ends better, but I always found the "war" to be pretty short and found the ending abrupt.

Season 5 - while entertaining - was ultimately a big waste to me. I don't understand JMS's thinking of starting a batch of new threads and leaving them unresolved. JMS had his reasons, and B5 fans can defend them all they want, but it left me vastly disappointed that we don't get any sort of ending for virtually everything introduced in season 5. Now for all my rants for how badly I think JMS ends things... I do think the final episode of B5 (originally intended for S4 and delayed to air at the end of S5) is fantastic. Just a superb final episode for the series. I only went through this series once, and am starting to get the itch to borrow all the DVDs again to give the series a second viewing. I really expect I will like the show even more on a second viewing.

To me the greatest thing about B5 is the fact that it was made at all. I can't believe that JMS was able to successfully sell a studio on a show so overtly sci-fi, without any already established name brand, in which it's known from the beginning that the lead actor for all of season one will be abruptly replaced in season two. (I am assuming that this was truly preplanned from the beginning, but maybe I am wrong). The fact that JMS was able to keep it alive for 5 seasons - even switching from syndication to TNT was pretty unbelievable. The groundbreaking CGI work really impresses during the show's peak and as it clearly ended up being used to make DS9 better, I deeply appreciate how innovative it was. Definitely a landmark show in many ways, even if it's not even my favorite show to be set on a space station!

Anyway, that's my take on the series. But what do I know? I think Doctor Who blows away all the Star Treks, Babylon 5's, and Star Wars out there! slywink
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« Reply #83 on: April 11, 2010, 04:40:01 PM »

didnt see this mentioned anywhere, but the OP said the he thought the CGI was awfull - fun fact is, that its made by a Toaster program I seem to remember it was called, by connecting 20 amiga 1200 computers to render it :-D
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« Reply #84 on: April 11, 2010, 04:40:07 PM »

The answer to some of the dangling plot threads lies in the books.

Bester and PsyCorps is a great 3 book series and answers many questions

The TechnoMage 3 books series fills many holes of things going on during the main years of the series....very interesting after reading these how they weaved them into the whole thing

The Centauri 3 book series is all after the series and answers all the the Londo/Vir/G'Kar questions

I think JMS planned the books, I know he wrote the outline so it isn't like these were written after the fact because the series was canceled.
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« Reply #85 on: April 11, 2010, 05:08:34 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on April 11, 2010, 04:40:01 PM

didnt see this mentioned anywhere, but the OP said the he thought the CGI was awfull - fun fact is, that its made by a Toaster program I seem to remember it was called, by connecting 20 amiga 1200 computers to render it :-D

plus, and this was probably mentioned somewhere, the CGI scenes weren't made with big screen TV's in mind.  hopefully someday someone goes back and remasters the series like they did with Start Trek the Original Series.  sure, they lost the original models and all that other stuff  but given time someone could replicate them.
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« Reply #86 on: April 11, 2010, 05:25:55 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 11, 2010, 02:37:24 PM

Yeah, by Season 3 B5's production values had improved to the point where Deep Space Nine actually poached B5's effects crew. 

Cite?
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« Reply #87 on: April 11, 2010, 05:55:26 PM »

When I started watching the show, it was at the beginning of season 2, which is actually a pretty good starting point. I've got the set on DVD and got farscape for Christmas. I want to start watching one of them with the kids but can't decide.

If we xo start B5 it'll be at season 2.

As for the comparison, DS9 is my favorite trek series, but I don't think the writing can compare to B5.
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« Reply #88 on: April 11, 2010, 07:25:12 PM »

Quote from: JCC on April 11, 2010, 04:02:41 PM

To me the greatest thing about B5 is the fact that it was made at all. I can't believe that JMS was able to successfully sell a studio on a show so overtly sci-fi, without any already established name brand, in which it's known from the beginning that the lead actor for all of season one will be abruptly replaced in season two. (I am assuming that this was truly preplanned from the beginning, but maybe I am wrong). The fact that JMS was able to keep it alive for 5 seasons - even switching from syndication to TNT was pretty unbelievable. The groundbreaking CGI work really impresses during the show's peak and as it clearly ended up being used to make DS9 better, I deeply appreciate how innovative it was. Definitely a landmark show in many ways, even if it's not even my favorite show to be set on a space station!

Losing Sinclair in the second season was never planned, he was supposed to be on the entire series.  In fact, much of the story arc was drastically changed because the show was always on the bubble of being canceled every season.  I don't know if you've ever seen this synopsis of the original story arc which is probably what JMS was working from at the beginning of season 1. 

Spoiler for Hiden:
The end of the original arc had the B5 station destroyed, the Shadows seemingly victorious and Sinclair and Delenn on the run (this is probably why JMS said that when he told people the ending epsisode of the series they looked at him like he was crazy).  He had a second series planned that would have been the actual war against the Shadows.  This is also where the B4 station was pulled to, not the past as it was in the actual series.  Sinclair is still the lead character in this series and there is no mention of Sheridan.
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« Reply #89 on: April 11, 2010, 07:41:23 PM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on April 11, 2010, 05:25:55 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 11, 2010, 02:37:24 PM

Yeah, by Season 3 B5's production values had improved to the point where Deep Space Nine actually poached B5's effects crew. 

Cite?

Foundation Imaging did the B5 effects for Seasons 1-3 and then was exclusively contracted to Paramount to do VFX for Star Trek shows.  After that B5 pulled their effects in house.  As a result IMO the CGI takes a bit of a step down in the first half of Season 4 but they found their footing by the end of that season. 
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« Reply #90 on: April 11, 2010, 07:43:04 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on April 11, 2010, 05:55:26 PM

When I started watching the show, it was at the beginning of season 2, which is actually a pretty good starting point. I've got the set on DVD and got farscape for Christmas. I want to start watching one of them with the kids but can't decide.

Have you seen Farscape?  How old are your kids?  Because Farscape can be pretty extreme in terms of content compared to a lot of other SF shows. 
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« Reply #91 on: April 11, 2010, 07:51:58 PM »

I've said so previously, but here you are again: for me, watching O'Hare's "acting" as Cmndr. Sinclair, just drove me batshit crazy.  I agree completely with JCC's assessment of it, except for the laughable part.  After that, when Bruce Boxleitner's Captain Sheridan hit the scene, it became not just bearable, but hugely enjoyable, to continue with the story.  After Sheriden, unfortunately, they found another wooden person to be the new Captain, this time a woman (Tracy Scoggins), and just as bad, imo.  While O'Hare did his best to convey the acting style of a wooden puppet, Scoggins was a bit shinier - like a new Barbie doll. Uggh.

Everything in between though, is some of my favorite sci-fi viewing, probably tied with Farscape.  Though I enjoyed every Star Trek series to some degree or other, I never was pulled into them as a running series like I was with Bab 5 and Farscape.  Just thinking about Londo, G'Kar, Garibaldi, Ivanova, Kosh - and the sheer fun of who was chosen to play Besser, and his character's name, makes me want to revisit the series... soon.

Garibaldi had a quote that I still like to use when people are whining about life not being fair:  "If life were fair, you might get everything you deserve."  That may not be the exact quote, but it's close, and one of the best lines I've ever heard for the situation - and it was delivered perfectly.

Yup, it's definitely time to dig out the DVDs and have another go-round... though without O'Hare or Scoggins.  I've seen the entire series twice and the middle sections a third time, but I wasn't able to force myself past Pinocchio and Barbie then, and I won't likely be able to now.  Luckily, the middle sections covered several series (four, five, maybe?), so that's a nice chunk.  Can't wait!

 icon_razz
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« Reply #92 on: April 11, 2010, 09:15:17 PM »

Quote from: Hamsterball_Z on April 11, 2010, 07:25:12 PM

Losing Sinclair in the second season was never planned, he was supposed to be on the entire series.  In fact, much of the story arc was drastically changed because the show was always on the bubble of being canceled every season.  I don't know if you've ever seen this synopsis of the original story arc which is probably what JMS was working from at the beginning of season 1. 

Wow, thanks I never knew that. In many ways I like his "original" idea for the storyline better than what we ended up with. Although I am sure I would have been outraged for the series to end with no resolution. (I wonder how long the "prime" series would have been....) Plus, well... we would have been stuck with Sinclair! slywink
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« Reply #93 on: April 11, 2010, 11:50:53 PM »

Quote from: JCC on April 11, 2010, 09:15:17 PM

Quote from: Hamsterball_Z on April 11, 2010, 07:25:12 PM

Losing Sinclair in the second season was never planned, he was supposed to be on the entire series.  In fact, much of the story arc was drastically changed because the show was always on the bubble of being canceled every season.  I don't know if you've ever seen this synopsis of the original story arc which is probably what JMS was working from at the beginning of season 1. 

Wow, thanks I never knew that. In many ways I like his "original" idea for the storyline better than what we ended up with. Although I am sure I would have been outraged for the series to end with no resolution. (I wonder how long the "prime" series would have been....) Plus, well... we would have been stuck with Sinclair! slywink

I'm glad he condensed it, knowing my luck I'd have liked his original plan and ended up watching in horror as it got canceled halfway through.
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« Reply #94 on: April 12, 2010, 06:44:59 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 11, 2010, 07:43:04 PM

Quote from: Misguided on April 11, 2010, 05:55:26 PM

When I started watching the show, it was at the beginning of season 2, which is actually a pretty good starting point. I've got the set on DVD and got farscape for Christmas. I want to start watching one of them with the kids but can't decide.

Have you seen Farscape?  How old are your kids?  Because Farscape can be pretty extreme in terms of content compared to a lot of other SF shows. 

Yup, and that's part of the question. But I think they are getting to a point where they are old enough (12 and 13).
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« Reply #95 on: April 12, 2010, 06:49:03 PM »

Quote from: mytocles on April 11, 2010, 07:51:58 PM

Garibaldi had a quote that I still like to use when people are whining about life not being fair

It was Marcus, actually:

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

And yes, it is a wonderful quote.
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« Reply #96 on: April 12, 2010, 06:53:47 PM »

There is no 5th season ninja
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« Reply #97 on: April 12, 2010, 07:17:58 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 11, 2010, 07:41:23 PM

Quote from: Fireball1244 on April 11, 2010, 05:25:55 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 11, 2010, 02:37:24 PM

Yeah, by Season 3 B5's production values had improved to the point where Deep Space Nine actually poached B5's effects crew. 

Cite?

Foundation Imaging did the B5 effects for Seasons 1-3 and then was exclusively contracted to Paramount to do VFX for Star Trek shows.  After that B5 pulled their effects in house.  As a result IMO the CGI takes a bit of a step down in the first half of Season 4 but they found their footing by the end of that season. 

Nifty. I knew that DS9 switched to digital effects about halfway through its run. I didn't know it was the Babylon 5 people that did them.
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« Reply #98 on: April 12, 2010, 08:11:13 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on April 12, 2010, 06:49:03 PM

Quote from: mytocles on April 11, 2010, 07:51:58 PM

Garibaldi had a quote that I still like to use when people are whining about life not being fair

It was Marcus, actually:

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe."

And yes, it is a wonderful quote.

Wow, I knew my memory was bad, but I have a clear image of Garibaldi pointing at some whiner and barking out the reduced version.  Now I have to reset that, and I don't even remember who Marcus is... and that quote is probably too long for me to remember.  I know what I'll do: I'll just co-opt the saying as mine - problem solved!   Tongue
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« Reply #99 on: April 12, 2010, 08:24:44 PM »

Ivanova's puppy dog:

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« Reply #100 on: April 12, 2010, 08:25:25 PM »

this series had one of the best set up and payoff scenes ever.  Early in the series when Morden is asking people on B5 what they desire...  
Spoiler for Hiden:
I love Vir's answer and of course the eventual payoff when he gets his greatest desire... one of the truly awesome moments in B5
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« Reply #101 on: April 12, 2010, 09:39:37 PM »

Oh, now see? I forgot all about that character, Marcus, but that pic and all this talk has me really hungering for another viewing.  I liked Marcus a lot, but he really was Ivanova's puppy, wasn't he?  I thought he was cute and rather reminiscent of a Tolkien character.  nod

And Morden, too, wow - good times, very good times!  Naturally, I read the spoiler on that and remember how wonderful that particular scene felt... though I can't quite bring back the actual memory of it.  Sometimes a poor memory can be nice; I'll be all surprised and happy about it when I see it again!

I do remember Vir quite well, because I used to be a huge fan of "St. Elsewhere" and remembered Stephen Furst from that show.  More good times...

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« Reply #102 on: April 13, 2010, 12:04:17 AM »

Quote from: Isgrimnur on April 12, 2010, 06:53:47 PM

There is no 5th season ninja

Two words: singing psychics

 paranoid

I was surprised to see this thread resurrected!  I really didn't like Season 1 but ended up loving 2, 3 and 4.  The last season was... well... singing psychics.
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« Reply #103 on: April 13, 2010, 01:00:27 AM »

Because I can't let it die:

The (abbreviated) Ballad of Mister Morden

Mister Morden walks out the door.
Mister Morden walks.
Mister Morden talks to Londo.
Mister Morden talks.
Mister Morden was an evil man.
Mister Morden was…
Mister Morden is the subject of the Shadows.
What his Associates say he does.

Marcus is a great character. A favorite Marcus episode is when he's on Mars with Franklin. Great stuff.
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« Reply #104 on: April 13, 2010, 03:58:42 AM »

warning, I honestly don't know what you are talking about.  Once they dropped Marcus and Ivanova and I saw who was going to replace her, I stopped watching the show. 
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« Reply #105 on: April 13, 2010, 04:33:26 AM »

Eh, I think Season 5 gets a bad wrap.  The first half is certainly problematic to put it mildly but the last half is up there with Season 2-4 and I think "Sleeping in the Light" is one of the best finales ever. 
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« Reply #106 on: April 13, 2010, 04:37:05 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 13, 2010, 04:33:26 AM

Eh, I think Season 5 gets a bad wrap.  The first half is certainly problematic to put it mildly but the last half is up there with Season 2-4 and I think "Sleeping in the Light" is one of the best finales ever. 

+1
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« Reply #107 on: April 13, 2010, 04:38:32 AM »

Quote from: pr0ner on April 13, 2010, 04:37:05 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 13, 2010, 04:33:26 AM

Eh, I think Season 5 gets a bad wrap.  The first half is certainly problematic to put it mildly but the last half is up there with Season 2-4 and I think "Sleeping in the Light" is one of the best finales ever. 

+1

Agreed. Skim the first two discs, devour the latter discs, and that's still a very satisfying season box set.
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« Reply #108 on: April 13, 2010, 04:40:11 AM »

Quote from: Fireball1244 on April 13, 2010, 04:38:32 AM

Quote from: pr0ner on April 13, 2010, 04:37:05 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on April 13, 2010, 04:33:26 AM

Eh, I think Season 5 gets a bad wrap.  The first half is certainly problematic to put it mildly but the last half is up there with Season 2-4 and I think "Sleeping in the Light" is one of the best finales ever. 

+1

Agreed. Skim the first two discs, devour the latter discs, and that's still a very satisfying season box set.

plus keep in mind they didn't think they were even going to have a season 5 until the very last minute, so they wrapped up a lot of plots in season 4.
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« Reply #109 on: April 13, 2010, 06:15:43 AM »

I just found out that our B-5 "collection" was on video cassettes - and since we no longer have a VCR, they got recycled already.   crybaby

Does anyone know if there is a Blue-ray version... and if it's worth the extra money to choose it rather than DVD's?   icon_confused
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« Reply #110 on: April 13, 2010, 06:16:53 AM »

Quote from: mytocles on April 13, 2010, 06:15:43 AM

I just found out that our B-5 "collection" was on video cassettes - and since we no longer have a VCR, they got recycled already.   crybaby

Does anyone know if there is a Blue-ray version... and if it's worth the extra money to choose it rather than DVD's?   icon_confused

nope, no blu ray version yet.
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« Reply #111 on: April 13, 2010, 12:13:12 PM »

One of the B-5 books has a lot on Morden.  He didn't start out evil.   The whole book about the expedition with Morden and Anna Sheriden is quite good.
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« Reply #112 on: April 13, 2010, 01:00:16 PM »

I'm not sure we'll ever see it on Blu-ray.  The film will transfer fine but the effects (which are already suffering due to the bump from broadcast to DVD resolution) would be nigh unintelligible.  Pretty much every series that either uses digital effects rendered in less than 720p or was cut together on video would relatively pointless on video unless the studio wants to invest millions of dollars into redoing all of the effects. 
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« Reply #113 on: April 13, 2010, 04:53:43 PM »

Yeah, I figured I'd get bad news on the BluRay issue - "bad" because I don't play my PS3 as much as my 360, so I'm trying to use it more via the BluRay route.  But I don't mind saving the money, DVDs are fine with me since I'm rather old-school after all.  I'm more into the characters than the special effects, so I'm okay with that too (especially since the last time I saw it was on VCR, yikes.)

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Mytocles (MY-toe-cleez)

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« Reply #114 on: June 18, 2010, 06:44:52 PM »

just saw the episode that follow the two maintenance guys.  very cool
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« Reply #115 on: June 18, 2010, 07:34:38 PM »

That one is among my favorites.
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« Reply #116 on: June 18, 2010, 11:23:07 PM »

Same here. it was this break from story. And it was very well done. I could have used a few more like it. But then it might be as special I suppose.
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« Reply #117 on: June 18, 2010, 11:44:44 PM »

Quote from: Shinjin on June 18, 2010, 07:34:38 PM

That one is among my favorites.

+1
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« Reply #118 on: June 24, 2010, 06:02:06 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on June 18, 2010, 11:44:44 PM

Quote from: Shinjin on June 18, 2010, 07:34:38 PM

That one is among my favorites.

+1

Same here.  Normally I hate shows in a series where they try to do something innovative just for the sake of innovation - or worse, due to the coincident timing of a real world event, like Halloween or Christmas.  Usually they are just contrived, stupid, and goofy;  they actually embarrass me for the actors' sakes.  This one was a huge exception to the that kind of episode - and particularly well done.  nod
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Mytocles (MY-toe-cleez)

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« Reply #119 on: July 16, 2010, 11:57:54 PM »

finished the series today.  always hate wrapping up a set of stories knowing I will never experience it the same way again.
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