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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

What to watch in December
Other Babylon 5.1 Columns
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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

There is not much on TV in December, because the networks assume you have a life, and better things to do for the holidays than watch television. Here's hoping they're right.

Firefly The best TV in December is almost certainly the pilot for Firefly -- the one the network declined to air, presumably because it required too much intelligence on the part of the viewers -- the same reason Paramount originally rejected Gene Roddenberry's "The Cage." While the network execs are not really all that stupid themselves, at least not after they've been in detox a few weeks, their contempt for their viewers is boundless. They never notice that a list of the best-rated shows is a mix of the smartest and dumbest shows on the air, with nothing in between.

There is also an "event" on the Sci-Fi Channel, Steven Spielberg's Taken (not that Spielburg wrote or directed it -- it is by Steven Spielberg in the same sense that Tek War was "by" William Shatner). Twenty hours of stories in ten parts during the first two weeks in December, it will be hard to tune in to the Sci-Fi Channel without watching some of it. It is billed as "Close Encounters meets The X-Files". Is something billed as "something meets something" ever worth watching? Wagon Train to the Stars turned out well, but not much since. Stick to the Cartoon Network. Invader Zim is a better bet.

Monday, Dec 2
Tuesday, Dec 3
Wednesday, Dec 4
Thursday, Dec 5
Friday, Dec 6
Firefly, "War Stories" by Cheryl Cain
Monday, Dec 9
Tuesday, Dec 10
Wednesday, Dec 11
Enterprise, "Precious Cargo", teleplay by David A. Goodman, story by B&B
Thursday, Dec 12
Friday, Dec 13
Taken (conclusion)
Wednesday, Dec 18
Enterprise, "The Catwalk" by Mike Sussman and Phyllis Strong FIREFLY
Friday, Dec 20
Firefly, "Serenity" by Joss Whedon (the two-hour pilot)
Friday, Dec 27
Firefly, "Objects in Space" by Joss Whedon.

One last Firefly will appear on January 3, after which the show goes on "hiatus". Meaning it is cancelled unless a whole lot of Nielson families watch on Dec 20.

Choose entertainment that thrills you, not entertainment that dulls you with repetition or lulls you with clichés.

Copyright © 2002 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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