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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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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 nothing worth watching on TV in August.

The City on the Edge of Forever The Star Trek dissing meme has spread to the cover of TV Guide (Stargate SG-1 in, Star Trek out). Star Trek is still the only SF on TV that even tries to be science fiction. All of the others are sci-fi, especially Stargate SG-. What makes sci-fi different from SF? It's the sci-fi attitude; "We don't know an electron from an election committee, and we're proud of it." And the fans say, "Yea, more ray gun battles, more fist fights, more scenes of heavily armed soldiers moving cautiously through the jungles of Southern California, crouching down when the column leader gives a hand signal."

If you enjoy Stargate SG-1, enjoy. More power to you. Tell me the name of an episode you thought was really great. I'll watch it the next time it comes around and review it in this column.

Star Trek TV Guide</ It is worth noting that when TV Guide writes about Star Trek, the cover doesn't even mention Stargate SG-1.

There is nothing worth watching on TV in August. Climb a mountain, write a novel, kiss a Canadian.

And when you feel like just kicking back and relaxing, watch a DVD. With Netflix, you can watch a new DVD every night for about a dollar a DVD. I recently discovered, after I had rented everything they had I wanted to watch (and did not have on my shelf) -- if you say you want to quit, they offer to cut your monthly fee to $14.95 for six months.

Stargate SG-1 I watch more than fifty movies a year, out of the hundreds of movies produced, but only about five of those are really worth watching. I watch more than a hundred TV shows a year, out of the thousands of TV shows produced, but only about a dozen of those are really worth watching. I enjoy books more than either, because there is a much better chance of picking a really good one. (Read Seabiscuit -- the movie is good, but Hollywood took out most of the good stuff to give the audience that rosy picture of the past it craves.)

Let's look at those numbers a different way. If there have been five really good movies a year for a hundred years, that's five hundred good movies to watch. If there have been a dozen good TV shows a year for fifty years, that's six hundred good TV shows to watch. No shortage of entertainment.

Is there nothing worth watching on TV in August? No problem. Season 3 of Babylon 5 comes to DVD August 12.

The second season of Jeremiah starts September 19th.

Copyright © 2003 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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