In keeping with my status as a dork, geek, and nerd, I watch a lot of science fiction. I'm not particularly sure why, as the acting is often very bad and the plots not much better. Maybe I just like all the shiny lights. I also often find the "science" on the shows painfully bad, but, like with almost all television, I mostly watch it to turn that part of my brain off and relax. In a similar way to which Isaac Asimov recommends watching mindless action films in his essay The Eureka Phenomenon, Sci Fi television to me is a way to relax the brain and recharge.
For all my disparagement, however, there are some parts that I really do like. For example, despite having some truly abysmal actors in its ranks, Star Trek does have some good ones too. I will never figure out how Star Trek managed to snag Patrick Stewart, one of the premiere Shakespearean actors of his day. Brent Spiner is also highly enjoyable, as well as many of the supporting characters from Deep Space Nine. The one thing I will never understand, though, is how some shows make it and others do not.
Take, for example, Stargate: SG-1. How is that the longest running continuous science fiction series in history (technically, that is a claim disputed by Dr. Who, so it is more correct to say it is the longest running North American science fiction series)? Yes, there were some funny bits and even some clever bits, but for the most part that show was background noise. I never really cared about the characters in it to any excessive degree, nor was I ever wildly worried about what the future of the show might hold. Yet somehow the show lasted 10 seasons and so far has had two movies (I believe both went straight to television).
Contrast SG-1 with a show like Firefly. It only lasted a season, but its fourteen episodes make up some of the most enjoyable science fiction I've ever seen. The characters are witty, well-acted, and engaging. The story is continuous and interwoven without making it absolutely necessary to have seen preceeding episodes or have long recaps at the beginning of each new episode. Also, they don't have sound effects in space! That one little bit of realism is enough for me to forgive all the terrible neuroscience espoused by Simon Tam when he scans his sister's brain to figure out what the government did to her. The fact that it only lasted a single season just never seemed quite fair to me.
I know they made a movie, but, like all things Joss Whedon does, he decided it was best to destroy his creation in his way than let it fade away. Between the rewriting of the series' history, random character death, and virtual lack of certain characters from the movie's storyline, I was not a fan.
Anyway, I am procrastinating right now by rambling about science fiction, so I should probably stop it and get back to work.