Guilty Pleasures

Everyone has them... those fun things you enjoy that you are almost embarrassed to admit to. For me, that includes those TV shows that have become complete addictions, movies that I can watch over and over again without ever getting bored, and my long-time love of the U.S. space program. Here's a little more information about some of my favorite guilty pleasures!

Favorite TV Shows (Past and Present)

The Avengers (1961-1969)
My love for this program began back when ABC started showing some of the 'John Steed'/'Emma Peel' episodes in the U.S. I was fascinated by the stories and the fact that the viewer had to really think to solve the mystery. The humor, the characters, the music, the stories -- everything during the 'Emma Peel' years was just right. Since that time, I've seen most of the 'Cathy Gale' and 'Tara King' episodes too, and I still prefer Diana Rigg as 'Mrs. Emma Peel.' Smart, sophisticated, and with a quirky sense of humor that complemented Patrick MacNee's portrayal of 'John Steed' so perfectly. I still watch this show whenever it's on TV, and have a number of episodes on VHS and DVD.
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Blake's 7 (1978-1981)
Okay, the special effects are somewhat cheesy and the acting isn't always high quality, but I love this little space opera. The characters were always intriguing and often funny. Great fun overall.
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Brimstone (1998-1999)
This show was cancelled way too soon. Starring Peter Horton and John Glover, it focused on an ex-cop who is sent back from hell to capture some of the worst criminals ever who had managed to escape from hell which sort of ticked off the devil. Quirky and dark, this is another one of those shows that made you think. Not too many of those out there.
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) -- a.k.a. BTVS
Buffy rocks! I have the entire run of this amazing show on DVD and still love watching it over and over again. First, it has vampires... how can you not love a show with vampires? Next, it is the creation of Joss Whedon and included some amazingly great writers to constructed a wonderful universe and eccentric characters that we Buffy fans all love with great devotion. Finally, it has the coolest librarian on earth! What's not to love about this show?
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Coupling (2000-2004)
First of all, do not confuse this with the crappy U.S. version of the show. The U.S. version sucked on a scale previously unknown to the world. The original BBC version is wickedly funny and very clever and definitely R-rated (not for the kiddies, folks!). The casting is perfect -- Jeff as portrayed by Richard Coyle is just classic! If you can get this series on DVD, do it now! You'll laugh your ass off!
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Doctor Who (1963-1989, 2005- )
More cheesy special effects from the BBC, but this show is really special. The quality of writing and acting on this show is excellent. Great story lines and lots of fun. Have to admit my favorite doctor was the 5th Doctor, portrayed by Peter Davison. Hmmm... cute man! I actually got to meet him briefly at a mini-Who con up in Cleveland. He's a nice man too, and very funny. The new series is excellent!
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Firefly (2002-2004)
Another show cancelled before it's time, this Joss Whedon series was something of a space western. With many of the same classic qualities of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the quirky characters, the humor, and the common person as reluctant hero story line was very well done.
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Homocide : Life on the Street (1993-1999) -- a.k.a. HLotS
Great, great show! This was more than just a crime show, focusing on the interrelationships of the men and women who worked in the Baltimore homicide unit. All of the actors were amazing in this program! I have to admit I was madly in love with Kyle Secor's character (Det. Tim Bayless) throughout the run of this show, but also adored Clark Johnson's character (Det. Meldrick Lewis). It was here that Richard Belzer originally played Det. John Munch, a character still active on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit!
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Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001-2011) -- a.k.a. L&O:CI, or LOCI
This is my favorite of the Law and Order franchise for two reasons: Vincent D'Onofrio and the amazing writing. D'Onofrio is one of my all-time favorite actors -- I just love the quirkiness of his characters. Always a joy to watch, whether he's playing a gentle and sweet alien (Happy Accidents) or a crazed serial killer (The Cell). His character in this program, Bobby Goren, is complex, brilliant, funny, and troubled. I look forward to each episode he's in. Such a great actor; the fact that Vincent is totally gorgeous is just another plus <grin>. The stories are just fascinating too. This is one of the best-written programs out there.
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Midsomer Murders (1997- )
Featuring John Nettles, this British detective program is wonderful. Great stories, classic actors, and the beautiful English countryside.
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Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-1974)
Even after all these years, the Python boys still make me laugh! Someday I hope to own the entire series on DVD. Our local PBS station still runs the program on Saturday nights and I'm always in front of the TV to enjoy the absolute comic genius of these guys.
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Numb3rs (2005-2009)
One of the newest entries in my favorite TV shows list, this crime drama attracted me first because Rob Morrow was in it and I loved the idea of seeing him in something other than Northern Exposure. But the show really pulled me in. The premise that a mathematics professor could help solve crimes for the FBi is definitely unique in television and I find that I learn a lot watching this show. The characters are well-developed, a sprinkling of humor, and a lot of drama makes for an interesting show each week.
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The Outer Limits (1963-1965)
Maybe I'm strange, but I enjoyed this show so much more than The Twilight Zone. The stories were just so much more interesting to me. Oh, I still loved Serling's show, but The Outer Limits really has stuck in my heart and mind over all these years.
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Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) -- a.k.a. STTNG
This was such a great program, actually so much better than the original (yeah, I know that can be considered sacreligious to some people). Again, a great cast led by Patrick Stewart, great writing, amazing stories, and lots of thought-provoking issues brought to bear. Science fiction television doesn't get better than this!
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Torchwood (2006- )
This is the latest brainchild from the creators of Doctor Who and it is really amazing. Great acting, interesting story lines that often twist and turn to strange effect, and sexy as well! The main character, Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), has that same kind of mystique about him as does the good Doctor which makes for addictive viewing, and his love affair with Ianto Jones (the gorgeous Gareth David Lloyd) has been so lovely and hot! So glad BBC America began airing these episodes in Fall 2007!
Note, August 8, 2011: Torchwood Series 1 and 2 were excellent! Just loved the team dynamic and the variety of characters. The end of Series 2 was heart-breaking, but I was so looking forward to seeing where the show would go next. I shouldn't have bothered. Series 3 was a mass of plot holes, political drama and a sprinkling of science fiction. Each day of the 5-day series was worse, the characterizations were all wrong, and the death for drama attitude of the creator ruined it all -- it was so disappointing that I've sworn off the show since. I have seen snippets of Series 4 (a.k.a. Miracle Day and it has gone so far from anything resembling a good science fiction show that it just sickens me. Such a shame that a truly amazing show went downhill so fast and so horribly. At least we fans of Series 1 and 2 (Classic Torchwood) will always have our favorite episodes on DVD! *Sigh*
From Captain Jack: "Torchwood: outside the government, beyond the police. Tracking down alien life on Earth, arming the human race against the future. The twenty-first century is when everything changes. And you gotta be ready."
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Favorite Films

Comedies
Drama
Science Fiction and Horror

Got Space?

Being a 60's kid, I was fascinated by the space program. I remember staying home from school so I could watch the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo launches when they were on TV. The early astronauts, such as John Glenn and Alan Shepard, were great heros to me and watching Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon was wonderful! I still follow the space program, visiting NASA's web site on a regular basis for updates.

This fascination with space and unexplained phenomena extended to my television viewing. My favorite shows included The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Star Trek, and anything else similar. I also loved watching classic science fiction movies... and still do!