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Friday, 21 May 2010

Girls Girls Girls

I am something of a lech. It's true, I can't help it. I see a pretty woman, I get a little, well, you know. And that's just as true when watching television as it is in real life. Maybe even more so because in real life a combination of crippling shyness and fear of prosecution means that I rarely dare to stay in close proximity to said ladies for too long, whereas in the privacy of my own cocoon I can ogle for as long as I want.

Sometimes a really dull or unlikable or badly written character can be made watchable purely by the judicious application of a good looking actress, but what happens when you have the really attractive actress, playing the really nice character? I'll tell you what happens to me. I fall a little bit in love. Do I think it's healthy to fall in love with a fictional character? Not really. Do I recognise the inherent weirdness in this reaction? Yes, yes I do. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen though.

It happened to me when I watched The Time Warrior and a certain reporter made her debut.

It happened to me when I watched the Smallville pilot and a certain blonde best friend arrived on the scene.

And it happened to me when I watched Belonging and met a traumatised cow called Fred.

In recent years Jayma Mays did it to me in Heroes with just one episode. I was literally screaming obscenities at the screen when she got Sylar'd. It broke my heart and I'm man enough to say it. Other one episode wonders (yes I know Charlie reappeared in Heroes but really, does anyone think that was a good idea?) are Georgia Moffett in The Doctors Daughter and Carey Mulligan in Blink.

The point of this? It's not to make me sound like a reclusive pervert with serious issues, but rather to bring us around to two shows I've been watching lately. The first is Stargate Atlantis. I lost track of this show a few years back when I lost my Sky hookup. This would have been mid season 3. A while later, my homeless wandering over and firmly ensconced on my sisters settee, I began using her Sky box to catch up with the endless reruns of the show at ridiculous hours of the night. The problem was, the Gods were against me. I'd record and watch two or three episodes and then there would be a powercut or the video timer would glitch or it would clash with some obscure old bit of tat my sister wanted to see and I'd get gaps. I'd leave it for the loop to roll back around to that point and pick it up again but invariably I'd only get a few episodes before something else put the kibosh on it. Until eventually my sister cancelled her subscription and I lost it completely. Aaah! Anyway, I tried. I really did, but in the end I had to admit defeat and turn to the trusty computer. And now I'm slowly but surely trundling through the episodes on Megavideo.

It's a funny one Atlantis. It managed to go through more cast changes in 5 seasons than it's parent show did in twice as many, and none of the variations seemed to gel completely successfully. Getting rid of Tori Higginson for example, wooden as she was, seemed like a boon until I realised that the writers really didn't know what to do with Amanda Tapping in this setting, to the point that she didn't even appear in a number of episodes during her one season as a regular. Joe Flanagan is a charismatic lead deserving of bigger things but unfortunately his character is written in such a way as to come across as arrogant rather than cool. Mitch Pilleggi is wasted in a bland 'gruff military type' role that should have been so much more and the killing off of Paul Mcgillions character was a cock up of the highest order. Or was it?

You see, Dr. Carson Beckett was likable. He was warm and compassionate and good at his job and pretty much the most relatable person on the show. But without his death there would have been no place for Dr Jennifer Keller. Played by Jewel Staite Dr Keller is the latest fictional character to capture my heart in an wholly inappropriate way. I should have seen it coming of course, considering my borderline obsession with her character of Kaylee on Firefly a few years ago. I tell you, when it looked like she was for the chop in Serenity, when she was bleeding out, there were tears in my eyes. Not a little trickle, rivers of the things. I was ready to put a hit out on Joss Whedon at that moment.

Anyway, I am now entering the 5th and final season of Atlantis and the lovely Jewel is now a regular. I shall enjoy her while I can.

The second show I wanted to talk about was Warehouse 13. A syfy (shudder, will we ever get used to that?) series that is massively derivative of too many shows to count yet is nonetheless eminently watchable, this series also escaped me when my sister switched off the Sky halfway through it's first season but it's now getting an airing on Virgin 1, which luckily for me is available through the rickety old Freeview box we had lying around.

So it and I are becoming reacquainted, just in time for the Warehouse 13 debut of one Allison Scagliotti, playing Claudia, a new addition to the cast who is credited as a guest star but is set to be a full time presence for the rest of the season. I know that she is currently filming season 2 but whether she has been upgraded to regular status for that remains to be seen. Yes, you've guessed it, Claudia is my new obsession. God knows where my loyalties will fall next year though, now I know that Jewel Staite is set to guest star.

Anyway, as I near the conclusion of Atlantis, Warehouse 13 is just getting started. Proof if I needed any more that this Quest is indeed impossible but as long as there are ladies of this calibre to keep me company, I shall never lose the faith.

Next : A big cat with a Jesus complex, an unpleasant woman with a penchant for statuary and a nice bit of bedroom furniture.

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