Sunday, January 27, 2013

Top 5 Sundays #35 - Fave On-Going TV Series! {Part II}

So, anyone who knows me knows I watch a lot of television. Some people play music in the background, I marathon television shows. Which gave me a lot of options to run through for this week's Top 5 post - my Favourite TV series, Part 2. I mean, it goes without saying that Supernatural is still the reigning champ - especially now that they've canned the Leviathan arc and gone back to focusing on the brothers' relationship and the monsters. But, hey, that's neither here nor there.

Since the last Top 5 post dealing with my favourite television series, the fall season has seen a slew of new releases and I've caught up on some much hyped-about series I hadn't gotten around to yet, although, I admit a preference for those 80s detective shows.

Again, I digress. The point here is that this list was interesting to put together, to say the least, and without anymore of my babbling, I present Calliope's Domain's Top 5 Sundays Fave On-Going TV Series - Part Two!

#5 - Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
 Alright, so tiny confession time; my love affair with this show waxes and wanes depending on whether or not Cristina and Owen are together. Their relationship makes the show for me, mostly because Meredith annoys me more often than not and makes me want to scream. I understand her, but understanding really doesn't help. The medical stories are fantastic, don't get me wrong, but I'm a drama vampire and Owen and Cristina bring the drama. And Callie and Arizona, of course. 

#4 - Elementary (CBS)
It's an American take on a modernized Sherlock. He's still British, brilliant, and brash, but now he's in New York City just out of rehab for drug abuse with Dr. Watson a former surgeon turned recovery coach who's taken him on a client. And did I mention Watson is now female and Asian? It's a great new take on an old tale. Best part of all? You get more than three episodes every eighteen months!

#3 - Young Justice (Cartoon Network)
The sidekicks get their turn in the lime light and, unlike with Teen Titans, the mentors are still hanging about to lend a hand and provide guidance and assistance when needed. It only got better in the second season when a five year time jump meant you got Nightwing AND Robin, plus got to see the heroes you'd come to know and love in the first season all grown up. The fact that the plots have only improved since last season is but the icing on the cake. Now if only Cartoon Network would stop putting it on hiatus!

#2 - Doctor Who (BBC)
This is a show about a mad man in a box travelling through all of space and time, saving worlds and galaxies, if not the universe itself, over and over again, with a companion or two in tow to serve as his moral compass. Or, you know, in the words of The Doctor himself,
I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the Constellation of Kasterborous. I'm 903 years old and I'm the man who is gonna save your lives and all 6 billion people on the planet below.
#1 - Arrow (The CW)

Oliver Queen has just returned to civilization after spending five years marooned on an isolated prison island (or maybe not - who can tell with this guy?). He returns home to Starling City and immediately dons a hood and picks up a bow to avenge the city against a group of the city's rich and powerful whose names appear in a list bequeathed to him by his father. That being said, I'd like you take a moment to look at Stephen Amell. Now imagine him shooting a bow. Or working out sans shirt. Or in a suit. Or...well, heck, just LOOK at him. In my defense, the show also has awesome plot and great story lines...but Stephen Amell doesn't hurt. Not one little bit.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Top 5 Sundays #34 - Favorite Sci-Fi (Space Opera) Books!

So, admittedly, science fiction is not my typical cup of tea. Usually, when I read sci-fi, it tends to be an accident. How do you accidentally read a sci-fi book? Well, let's see. Sometimes I'll pick it up because I've read something else by the author and want to see how her tone differs between genres. Sometimes I'll pick it up thinking it's fantasy and realize midway through that, nope, it was misshelved ( that a word? If not, it should be.) Sometimes I have no other options readily available. Sometimes there's a movie or book tie-in motivating me. And sometimes the plot and writing are just too good to pass up on. Plus, you know, who can resist aliens from outer space?

Oh, and just to be clear, I consider Sci-Fi to refer to books where a major element of the setting - if not the plot itself - is advanced science, be it in the form of technology, interplanetary associations, or time-jumps into the far future.

So, without further ado, I give you Calliope's Domain's Top 5 Favorite Sci-Fi (Space Opera) Books!

#5 - Doubleblind (Sirantha Jax #3) by Ann Aguirre

This is a book about a girl whose genes allow her to mentally jump ships through hyperspace. She is serving as an ambassador, of sorts, on a diplomatic mission to a planet of giant bugs while dealing with the fact that her PTSD suffering, telepathic boyfriend's recent experiences have cut him off from his emotions and made him dangerous and unpredictable. But, hey, you know, no pressure or anything.

#4 -  Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern #1) by Anne McCaffrey
I first read this book when I was still in elementary school and the dichotemy of main character Lessa fascinated me. She was such an interesting blend of brave heroine and scared little girl. Case and point; when she and her dragon go back a couple hundred years in time, she's most concerned with the fact her mate is going to be upset and shake her something fierce when she returns. And, oh yes, did I mention she totally redefines the role of her gold dragon and saves the day in a way no one could have ever predicted? 

#3 - Touched by an Alien (Kitty Katt #1) by Gini Koch
Honestly, the whole series is awesome beyond words but the first book? That's where the love affair began. I mean, imagine you're a covert agency with aliens and humans working in tandem to rid the world of dangerous mutant-causing parasites and you've been working at it for decades. Then one day this girl walks in and a few days later has not only killed several of the parasites, something you've found all but impossible to do yourselves, but done so using hair spray, boiling water, bass pounding music, and salt water. See? Told you. Awesome.

#2 - Playing with Fire (Tales of an [Extra]ordinary Girl #1) by Gena Showalter
Superheroes work for the government to bring in villains with dangerous powers of their own. How did they get these powers? Well, while most of them volunteered for the government-funded experiments, heroine and narrator Belle Jamison received her ability to control the elements through a syrum dropped into her coffee by a fugitive mad scientist. Add in heaping dollops of humour and romance and presto! You've got perfection!

#1 - Tinker (Elfhome #1) by Wen Spencer
A satellite launched into space twenty years ago had the unforeseen consequence of sending the whole of a futuristic Pittsburgh to another dimension for all but three days of each month, another dimension populated by elves and adjacent to a third dimension filled with demonic oni. The heroine is a plucky little genius who finds herself entangled with the elves and in short order with the oni. It's the price you pay when you're the only genius around capable of building transdimensional gates. Such hardships!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Top 5 Sundays #33 - Top 5 Sci-Fi Series

Alright, boys and girls, I took a break for the holidays but now I'm back and all set with a new Top 5 Sundays post. This week's theme is my Top 5 Sci-Fi series. Now, to be clear here, I take sci-fi to mean those series that involve advanced technology and science-based monsters and phenomenon, not necessarily space...although space certainly wouldn't hurt.

So, without further ado, I present Calliope's Domain's Top 5 Sci-Fi series.

#5 - Stargate SG-1

This show follows one of a dozen or so teams of US military personnel who use a giant eye-like portal generator to transverse and explore the universe. My favourites seasons are the ones with Jack, Carter, Daniel and Teal'c; they have the best team dynamic, in my opinion, and I just plain love the characters. It's amazing how often Daniel can get killed and bounce back.

#4 - Firefly

They aren't heroes. They're barely good guys. What they are is essentially a ragtag crew of futuristic pirates who take in a brother and sister running from the law and get in some serious trouble in the course of one misadventure after another. But with sarcasm and deadpan humour and irony tossed in. Plus, you know, Nathan Fillon.

#3 - Batman Beyond
It's Gotham, fifty years in the future, and Batman's retired. That is, until Terry McGuinus, through a series of unfortunate events, finds his way to the Batcave and, with Bruce Wayne about to mentor him, dons the cowl (no cape) to fight crime in Gotham once more. But with some really, really awesome technology, even by Batman standards. And all while dealing with high school. *happy sigh*

#4 - Sanctuary
In the late nineteenth century, five scientists injected themselves with a sample of original, undiluted vampire blood and consequently woke previously dormant traits in themselves. Fast forward to the present and one of them has established a network meant to stand between humanity and the abnormal creatures that share this world, protecting both sides from each other. And it stars Amanda Tapping and features a vampiric Tesla and a teleporting Jack the Ripper. What more needs to be said?

#1 - Doctor Who

 So, what we have here is a thousand year old Time Lord (give or take a century), the last of his kind, who travels around the whole of space and time in a blue police box with one or two human sidekicks in tow to keep him from losing touch with his morals. As the man himself says, "I'm the Doctor, but beyond that, I - I just don't know. I literally do not know who I am. It's all untested. Am I funny? Am I sarcastic? Sexy? [he winks at Rose] Am I an old misery? Life and soul? Right-handed? Left-handed? A gambler? A fighter? A coward? A traitor, a liar, a nervous wreck? I mean, judging by the evidence, I've certainly got a gob."