Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One Season Wonders

Sometimes really good shows only last one season. This is sad. But at the same time, it makes it a lot easier to do a marathon of episodes.

1. Firefly

Joss Whedon space cowboy adventure. 14 episodes of about 45 minutes each plus a feature film.

500 years in the future people have expanded beyond "Earth that was" and live on other planets. The Central planets are very rich and live like a science fiction future utopia, while the Border planets are poor live much more similarly to the old western genre. Captain Malcolm Reynolds leads the firefly class ship, "Serenity" named for the battle that allowed the Alliance to win and create "unification", something he and first mate Zoey fought against. Rounding out the crew are Zoey's husband, the pilot Wash, Kaylee, the mechanic and Jayne, who basically gets paid to fight and help pull jobs. A companion, Inara rents a shuttle. During the first episode the crew is joined by a preacher, Shepard Book, as well as a doctor, Simon Tam, and his sister, River, whom he rescued from a government facility. Simon and River are wanted by the Alliance, but since Mal and his crew dislike the Alliance and make their fortune through criminal acts, they don't really mind.

My Favorite Episodes: Shindig, Jaynestown, Out of Gas, War Stories and Objects in Space

2. The Return of Jezebel James

Comedy from the people who created Gilmore Girls. 7 episodes of about 22 minutes each.

Sarah Tompkins is a children's book editor who wants to have a baby. When she finds out she can't get pregnant she asks her sister, Coco, to be her surrogate. The problem is that the two have barely spoken over the years, and are dissimilar in their personalities. Sarah is viewed by most, including their parents as the golden girl, while Coco is the wild child. Sarah's assistant, Buddy, man friend Marcus and Coco and Sarah's parents round out the cast. Mainly because the show got canceled so early, the main focus is on Sarah and Coco getting to know each other again, rather than the intended main plot of the surrogacy.

My Favorite Episodes: Pilot/Frankenstein Baby, I'm With Blank, Sarah Takes a Bullet

3. Wonderfalls

Bryan Fuller drama about a girl who has inanimate objects speak to her. 13 episodes of about 45 minutes each.

Jaye Tyler is "overeducated and underemployed" having graduated from Brown with a degree in Philosophy, but working in a Niagra Falls gift shop. She's unmotivated and sarcastic. Then a wax lion starts talking to her. Then other animal toys and images start talking to her. They tell her to do things, that usually lead to a good outcome. Jaye is constantly frustrated by her family, her sister Sharon an immigration lawyer, overprotective brother Aaron who is getting a PHD in theology and her parents Karen, a travel book writer and Darrin, a doctor. Her best friend Mahandra is a waitress in a local restaurant where Eric, a man who's wife cheated on him during their honeymoon to Niagra Falls has recently become a bartender. Jaye tries to deal with the directions from the animals as best she can while she and others question her sanity. Additionally, Jaye takes issue with the increasingly helpful things she's ordered to do, as it violates her policy of not being nice to people.

My Favorite Episodes: Wax Lion, Crime Dog, Lovesick Ass, Cadged Bird

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