Woof. What a week, am I right?
I don't know about you, but I'm ready for another weekend. I have no big plans, but having no big plans sometimes is the best way one can go about truly enjoyed a good weekend. We might take in a movie -- we've had our eye on one for a few weeks -- but as it isn't a Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror I won't trouble you with my choices in this space for now.
This morning, I've already crafted and posted a column about my support of the 'From A Certain Point Of View' anthologies that have come out from Random House in celebration of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return Of The Jedi. Seriously, folks: if you haven't seen them, then I'm strongly encouraging you to check them out. Basically, they're short story collections, each one crafted to tie-in with the people, places, and events of their respective films; and they're nothing short of fantastic. I like a good short story, and the ones in these collections have been very entertaining. They're not about messages. They're not about ideologies, though a certain political perspective might play out as a plot point here and there. What they are, basically, are just fabulous fleshing out of what already exists in some small way within the wider Star Wars mythology; and I've had nothing but fun enjoying each and every one of them. Highly, highly recommended.
So ... what else do I have 'on tap' for you in this post?
Let me be clear: I didn't dislike it. (I know, I know, I know ... syntax rules aside, I'm sticking with that statement.)
My issue with it is that when I tried to get into it via its first airing on television -- "Midnight On The Firing Line" premiered on this date all the way back in 1994 -- I just couldn't. Honestly, I have no reason why. Production quality -- mostly -- was very good. I love the actors, and the cast of characters was definitely something to behold. For whatever reason, I just found that first season an incredible slog, especially early on. It took some time to find itself in the proper gear; and -- once it did -- I think it became a vastly better program. But, again, right out of the gate? It just didn't win me over, so I tuned it out.
Once it came out on home video, I purchased the first season to give it a binge-style viewing ... and I honestly felt the same way. The pacing felt off; and -- while I started to appreciate even more what the talented actors and actresses were doing in their roles -- I grew even more frustrated with the fact that I couldn't quite get its vibe. For each of us, some shows can be hit or miss, and we either push through that or we find a way to make it work. I just couldn't.
Anyway, flash forward a few years to the emergence of SciFiHistory.Net. I was doing what I do, extending birthday wishes to all of the smiling faces who've made an impact in the realms of the Fantastic, when -- lo and behold -- the actor Jerry Doyle actually responded to the tweet I had blasted on Twitter about his birthday. Not only had he read the Tweet, but he had also followed the link to my site and read what I had written about his work in the show (which was complimentary but I admitted I struggled to get into the show). Well ... what happened? The guy actually took the time to Tweet me a reply, encouraging me to give the program one more shot, insisting that it definitely got better. So out of nothing more than respect I took the man up on his challenge.
Over the next few months, I purchased every season of Babylon 5, and I made it through. I even picked up Crusade -- for good measure -- but I won't go into that for personal reasons. Let's just say ... no. I'll let that be.
In the end, yes, as Doyle promised, Babylon 5 grew vastly more important and remains one of the big sagas that helped defined what SciFi and Fantasy storytelling could be like on the small screen. While I didn't love it as much as its most ardent fans, I finally found the appreciation for it that I believe it's owed ... but that wouldn't have happened if Doyle hadn't prompted me to do so.
Happy birthday, Babylon 5!