Renly is still not right
Cersei, Joffrey, Ilyn Payne, The Hound, Marissa Mayer..
“I don’t wanna be a greenseer/warg anymore”
yahoo wants to buy tumblr so i’m making an early prediction as to what would happen if this were to take place
50 Favorite TV Shows: #41 Lexx
Originally Aired on: Sci Fi Channel
It seems like a hundred years ago that I first saw Lexx. There was a time when I would watch the Sci Fi channel all the time, being a little too young to have a full blown social life, watching their original movies before they completely shit themselves and taking in the fragments of long gone science fiction television programs. But on Friday nights, Sci Fi would should two on-going series that I would catch snippets of. The first to come on was Farscape, which is remembered fondly by many, though I’ve never been able to get into it. Instead, I fell in love with the show that followed it, Lexx. How does one try to explain Lexx to people, as it manages to make perfect sense but only within its own system of logic. The show follows the adventures of the crew of eponymous Lexx, a sentient starship capable of destroying planets. But rather than be in the hands of a capable crew, the crew is instead composed of misfits, the four main members each being outcasts from society. The first is Stanley Tweedle (Brian Downey), the ship’s captain by virtue of having interrupted a freedom fighter who had the key and cost him his life. Stanley is a rather simple man, having been a security guard before ending up on the ship and is constantly consumed by lust and greed, though too cowardly and uncharismatic to seize it. He becomes entangled with Xev (Eva Habermann/Xenia Seeberg), a gorgeous young woman genetically modified to have the body of a love slave, though this became crossed with that of the dangerous Cluster Lizard, making her particularly aggressive. While Stanley lusts for her, she care not at all for him, instead having the affections of 790 (Jeffrey Hirschfield), a robotic head who received her love slave programming and feelings for Kai (Michael McManus). Unfortunately, Kai cannot return them, as he is undead and only capable of sustaining himself with a rare regenerative blood and cold sleep, reviving only long enough to preserve his status as the last of his race and to work as an assassin. Yeah… it was all very strange, but in a good way. I think the reason I liked this show so much largely came from the fact that each of the character managed to be interesting because of their flaws. If my brief descriptions did not make it apparent, there is a great rapport between each of the main cast members, as their own motivations and desires force them together, but never allows them to truly succeed with the capability of the ship. The Lexx is powerful enough to destroy entire planets, yet Stanley is such a terrible captain, only interested in chasing sex and loot, to the point where he fails to notice threats around him, endangering those around him. Yet, the others seem to exacerbate this, as Xev will mate with nearly everybody but him, despite her feelings for Kai, who has no feelings at all. 790 acts as the devil’s advocate in this paradigm, capable of liking only one person at a time, though a later season has this switch to Kai, encouraging the self-destructive behavior of the other two. Though they always manage to escape by the skin of their teeth and see fantastical things, the crew never seems to have a strong sense of stability, never finding a way to solve their problems for long and find peace, instead immediately falling back in to bad habits. This takes some interesting twists as the episodic nature of the show gave way to larger story arcs of the final two seasons, allowing us to see the real repercussions of how each character’s actions played out.
Come to think of it, that may be another of the show’s main strengths: format. While its common now, I hadn’t really seen many shows at the time that use the season arching storyline up to this point. But unlike most of these, because the characters are so stable within their patterns of behavior, it makes the show easy to pick up at any given point without it being entirely inaccessible. The production history of the show is quite odd in this regard, as the first season was not a traditional television series, but instead a series of four television movies. The first season deals primarily with establishing the universe which the characters come from, which in itself is an interesting exercise. I love universe building, but while most depend upon technology to show the progress made by the cultures within, Lexx takes an interesting twist and use biotech as the main component of the world it establishes. Nearly every aspect of the show is slogged down by visceral detail, always lingering over body parts and fluids to the point where it can be downright disgusting, yet all the things they depend upon them run on organic matter. Kai is powered by the bloody drippings of the first series villain, his Divine Shadow, the short range ships they use are built by castrated and brain washed people and the Lexx itself is alive and cannot run if it does not eat. The first season does a good job of establishing the way this works, with the ultimate villain, the Giga Shadow being powered by the brains of his predecessors that must be destroyed to end the hunt for the crew. The second season picks up this hunt, though it allows for a much broader episodic format. This is probably the funniest season of the show, with the premises set up by the show being so all over the place, including psychotic inbred cannibals, an autonomous space station that does all the TV programming for the galaxy, gender swaps and god help me, a musical episode (“Brigadoom”). The light hearted tone of the season is rather enhanced by the episodic format, though the first episode of the season sets up the continuity of the rest quite well, introducing the villainous Mantrid, whose robot drones begin to destroy the galaxy. But the real strength of the show comes in the latter two seasons, which manage a stronger breadth of thematic concerns, while still using the randomness of life to play out season long arcs, including introducing the strongest villain of the series, Isambard Prince (Nigel Bennett). Each episode presents a moving forward of the established storyline, but constantly calls back to previous moments throughout the series, with characters that seemingly died before coming back to entangle once more in new ways. Lexx flourished under this format, able to use the personalities of the main cast to create a storyline that shows their inability to escape the same problems over and over again, while always freshening it with new and surreal twists.
Lexx is a rather strange show and probably won’t be appreciated by most, but it remains one of my favorites. Its strong character driven stories and surreal, but purposeful story allowed the show to actually feel adventurous, without the ponderous routine of many other science fiction programs.
Key Episode: “Fire and Water” The first episode of the third season, this marks a point where the series locked the crew into one place, as the previous season saw them leave the Light galaxy to be destroyed by Mantrid’s drones and awaken 4000 years later, with the Lexx starving and locked into the orbit of the two planets, Fire and Water. This is another really good world building episode, as it deals with the general makeup of each planet and sets up a rather thin allusion to what they might actually be. Since this is largely an introductory episode, it gives a lot of information without ever realy tipping the hand as to what might happen to the characters once they encounter the inhabitants of each planet, since they must travel to the planets to feed the Lexx. Water is an idyllic planet, with cities drifting on the oceans and each town having a specific theme, while Fire is larger and composed of desert, its cities ruled over by terrible tyrants, notably Isambard Prince. I think the main reason I’d recommend it though is simply that Season 3 is the best season and since the story is always ongoing, it’s a necessary episode to watch to understand the new equilibrium the show sets.
Favorite Character: Kai. Kai has the inevitable task of being the straight man of the series, as well as the resident badass, but since this show is the way it is, neither quite goes the way you might expect. Kai’s badassness is without question, but its less because he’s skilled and strong and more predicated on the fact that he can’t die. At many points throughout the series, Kai is dismembered which doesn’t seem to perturb him in the slightest, able to function just as easily as a severed head thanks to the protoblood in his system. Because he can’t die, he simply throws himself at each new enemy who eventually loses by attrition. His straight man status is what makes much of the show’s humor work, as his perfectly logical and emotionless outlook on the world contrasts to the constant illogic of those around him. I remember a particular moment in Season 4 when 790, having been repaired and now attached to Kai, has convinced the US Army to not only to attach his head to a Mothbuilder body, but also to give it a penis transplant so he can have sex with Kai. Kai consents without a moments thought, as he is dead and does not care if 790 wants to have sex with him, which comes off really funny. The show builds Kai up as inhuman, but also does a good job of showing off how empty his lack of humanity makes him, making the series finale especially potent.