Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What's on my PVR?

Well, here I am now, all settled down in Westlock and beginning the latest chapter in my life.  And right now, that latest chapter includes exploring my new cable company and all the brand new channels they offer!  When the cable guy came to hook me up a week ago, I was pleasantly surprised to see he dropped off a PVR.  I didn't know I ordered a PVR.  Needless to say, with this brand-new technology, I wanted to break it in by recording tons and tons of random crap.

I was thinking about starting a new series of entries where I'd sit down, clean out my PVR and reminisce about what I'd recorded.  But, as the week went on, I figured that probably wouldn't be such a good idea.  I mean, I really don't think the world needs to see me geek out about the latest DC Comics B-lister that popped up on Arrow, or that I like 2 Broke Girls, or that I have a fascination with the Disney sitcom Shake It Up, which I'm sure, in some parallel universe, could be seen as the prequel to 2 Broke Girls.

In short, why blog about TV when you can watch TV?

But still, there's a few things I recorded and watched this past week, and with nothing better to do on this Sunday morning, I thought I'd sit down and write my thoughts anyway.

G.I. Joe:  Spell of the Siren - For some reason, I have very vivid memories of watching this episode of the G.I. Joe cartoon when I was a kid, so I when I saw it was coming up on TeleToon Retro, I had to indulge my childhood nostalgia and see it again.  The Baroness manages to get her hand on the mystical "Conch of the Sirens."  When she blows on this enchanted conch shell, it's song is able to hypnotize any man into becoming her obedient servant.  So, with this new power, she promptly overthrows Cobra Commander, takes over Cobra, and hypnotizes G.I. Joe into following her orders.  Since this power has no effect on women, it's up to G.I. Joe's token women -- Scarlett, Cover Girl, and Lady Jaye -- to save the day.  Oh, and there's also two or three Joes who help them out because they were off-base when Baroness attacked, and that's good, because Scarlett, Cover Girl, and Lady Jaye need someone to make the coffee.  There's a couple of interesting things about this episode, like seeing the Baroness and Destro's love for each other.  The episode opens with Destro being captured by G.I. Joe, as the Joes raid the expedition to recover the Conch of the Sirens.  And Baroness's original impetus for taking over Cobra is when Cobra Commander refuses to expend the resources to rescue Destro.  Later in the episode, the Baroness threatens to use the Conch on Destro to turn  him into her mindless servant, but Destro talks her out of it, citing that ruling the world is no fun unless you have someone to share it with.  And they start making out.  I just find it fascinating when villains truly are capable of love.  I still don't know why I have such vivid memories of this episode.  Probably the sight of the climactic battle, in which Scarlett, Cover Girl, and Lady Jaye grapple with an army of female Cobra officers in their tight blue uniforms is when I first started feeling funny down there.

Star Trek: Amok Time - Generally acknowledged as one of the greatest episodes of the original Star Trek, if not the greatest, I knew I had to record it as it had been ages since I'd seen it.  It was a big deal for Trekkies back in the day because it gave us our first glimpse of the planet Vulcan and the Vulcan culture.  It all opens on the Starship Enterprise, where Spock has begun behaving very emotionally and erratically...highly unusual behaviour for Spock.  Spock implores Kirk that he be allowed to return to his home planet of Vulcan.  Spock eventually confides to Kirk that it's because he's undergoing the Ponn Farr, the time in every Vulcan's life where he's overcome with the overwhelming urge to return home and mate.  Spock has an arranged marriage waiting for him on Vulcan, so he has to get married and mate or else the hormones overwhelming his body will kill him.  So, they head to Vulcan, where the meet Spock's arranged bride, T'Pring, and the marriage will be officiated by T'Pau, a high Vulcan priestess and the closest thing Vulcan has to royalty.  But, before the wedding starts, T'Pring invokes an ancient custom where her betrothed has to fight for her hand in marriage in a ritualistic battle to the death.  And for her champion, T'Pring chooses Kirk.  So Spock and Kirk have to fight to the death.  Kirk is having a tough time in the battle, thanks to Vulcan's hotter and thinner atmosphere, so McCoy injects Kirk with a drug to make him breathe easier.  The battle resumes, and Spock kills Kirk.  With Spock's hormonal lust now subsiding, he's thinking logically again, and questions T'Pring as to why she demanded the combat.  T'Pring reveals that it's because she'd fallen in love with another.  T'Pring logically deduced that, if Kirk won the combat, Kirk would reject her as a bride and she'd be able to marry  her true love.  If Spock won, he'd be so overcome with grief that he'd reject her as a bride and she could marry her true love.  Or, if Spock went through with tradition and married her, why, he'd be off-planet so much commanding the Enterprise that she'd be able to continually bang her true love on the side.  With all this information, Spock frees T'Pring from tradition, enabling her to marry her true love.  Spock returns to the Enterprise to meet justice for killing Captain Kirk, but Kirk is actually alive.  That drug that McCoy injected him with was actually a sedative to fake Kirk's death.  With Spock back to normal, everyone resumes their duty stations and the adventure continues.  This is a great episode.  It's nothing but character development for Spock and Kirk.  And it introduced so many Star Trek tropes, such as the ponn farr, and that trademark Star Trek fight music, which plays when Spock and Kirk do battle.

I watched it on Space, and Space is currently airing the "special editions" that they whipped up a few years ago.  I missed them quite a bit when they first aired.  For special edition touches to this episode, all they really did was add some new establishing shots of Vulcan, to make it look more like the Vulcan we've come to know and love from the movies and the Next Generation era. 

Star Trek:  Mirror, Mirror - See, my PVR would probably just be full of Star Trek reruns from Space.  Another much-beloved episode of the original series, introducing one of the most beloved concepts in Star Trek, the Mirror Universe...the parallel universe populated by our evil twins.  While returning from an away mission in the middle of a magnetic storm, a transporter accident causes Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura to switch places with their evil counterparts in the Mirror Universe.  In the Mirror Universe, there is no United Federation of Planets.  Instead, we have the Terran Empire, seeking to dominate and conquer the universe.  On a Starship Enterprise where people are promoted through assassination, and the people command with fear, our four intrepid heroes have to find a way to get back to their own universe, while evil Spock can't help but feel that there's something different about the four when they came back from the planet.  Thank you, evil Spock, for giving us the trope of evil twins having a goatee.  Again, just a very solid episode with some very interesting concepts introduced.  I remember watching this many, many years ago.  CBC Edmonton occasionally showed reruns of the original series, and this was filler after Hockey Night in Canada one Saturday night.  I taped it...maybe I still have it on VHS somewhere. 

And that's pretty much it.  And Robot Chicken.  So much Robot Chicken.  I love that show.  I think I'll end with the most vile joke I ever heard on Robot Chicken.

SpongeBob SquarePants>>  But Sandy!  How can you be pregnant?  You said you had a sponge in you!  (awkward pause)  Oh...you meant me.  (trademark SpongeBob laugh)

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