As this is published, I will be sitting on the side of a pool in a Las Vegas resort, soaking in the sun and either reading Neil Gaiman’s latest book, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane,” or continuing my quest through the original “Star Trek” (the episode where the crew gets pretty much drunk is a favorite).
Speaking of geeky TV shows, it’s about time for Part 2 of my column on top geeky TV shows and what they can teach us.
“Star Trek.” What better way to start than with a classic? Despite the old-time effects and “futuristic” technology (buttons? Really?), I’m constantly impressed with how this show has held up in terms of its stories and themes.
The universe of “Star Trek” holds a special place in my family. Not only did my dad sort of stalk Leonard Nimoy, but as a child, I loved “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” because it had whales and Dr. McCoy in the present-day hospital. And I have fond memories of my younger days, when my cousin would obsessively get us to watch “Star Trek: The Next Generation” every night.
What impresses me with the original series is how it gets viewers to see the universe. One of the main themes is that things are hardly ever what they first appear. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of “Star Trek,” was adamant about this theme in particular. It’s why the cast isn’t exclusively white and male, for starters. He wanted a show about discovery, about broadening horizons, about celebrating human curiosity and nature.
There is much to be learned from “Star Trek,” but the most significant is this: There’s a whole universe out there with a myriad of other views, and if you narrow your vision, you’ll miss the best of them.
“The Walking Dead.” My first encounter with this show was on Halloween years ago, shortly after the first episode aired. A friend suggested I would like it, being totally into zombies back then (and who am I kidding, I’m totally still into them now).
This show teaches what can be learned in practically any story with zombies and humans, because that is what makes this genre so appealing to me — our most dangerous enemy is human nature. But it can also be the most beautiful and inspiring.
“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” Yes, this show is supposed to be for little girls. Yes, many adults enjoy it, too. Yes, it teaches viewers a lesson on friendship every episode. But the main lesson I’ve gathered out of this? Having an almost all-girl cast is not a bad thing.
In a world where companies like Naughty Dog have to fight to get a main character on the front cover of her own game, solely because she is female and marketing says females don’t sell, it’s nice, as a female myself, to see a show like “My Little Pony” making huge success in said market. Even better than teaching about friendship, the show teaches about girls — that they are human and can be as diverse, successful and interesting as any guy.
But then, I guess Disney’s princesses have already proven this. I don’t know why it’s something that’s still so difficult for people to understand.
“Top Gear.” I’m talking about the British version, of course. This was my previous TV show binge prior to “Star Trek.” It’s a show with three British guys talking about and driving cars, which I know as much about as I do modern fashion trends (read: as much as Google can tell me). But I still can’t get enough. And what’s the lesson you can learn from this? You don’t have to understand everything about something in order to enjoy it, and that’s OK. Also, good humor goes a long way.