Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Blogging Odyssey [Retrospective]

Well, it's another year over. Can you believe it? What can you say about 2011? Life is good, but time and the odyssey can feel like a blur. Time certainly flies when you're having fun. Of course, the truth is, it flies by when you're not having fun too, but we like to think of the positives here.

I've taken a few days to myself this week. I've been catching up on Dexter and Breaking Bad. The One To Be Pitied is none too pleased I'm spending less time building closets and more time having fun. Who really deserves the pity here? I've even started a third watercolor painting. We'll see how it goes.

So I thought I'd look back at my plans for 2011 reflecting off my 2010: The Year We Make... A Retrospective Post. I thought it might be fun to look back on the highlights from 2011 and see where I let you down, led you down that rosy path only to see my plans go sadly awry.

Undeniably my biggest failure was taking time to investigate Neon Genesis Evangelion. Trust me. I wanted to cover that series here in the worst way and still plan to do so. My efforts to thoroughly analyze the series developed into a much larger project. Of course, it also led me to my attempts at painting. There's something pure and creative about the experience like writing. It can be at once frustrating and relaxing.

Additionally, I had purchased Wonder Woman. As much as I had such fond memories of it as a child I simply couldn't bring myself to cover it here. Perhaps I'll give it another go down the road, but I definitely wasn't feeling it for Linda Carter in 2011. Gosh, can you imagine that?

Finally, I just never found the time to return to Space:1999 despite my great affection for it. I just never got back to it. I'll make every effort to remedy that in 2012.

Otherwise, I did succeed in a number of areas I had hoped to explore. Let's look back at 2011 to see how the year shaped up here at Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic.

The Kiss [Love, Science Fiction Style] Part I. Things kicked off in the new year with a kiss science fiction style. Who doesn't love red hot alien errr... kissing? The Kiss [Love, Science Fiction Style] Part I leaves the door open for a sequel. We'll see. Pucker up just in case.

The Notenki Memoirs & Yasuhiro Takeda. The Notenki Memoirs & Yasuhiro Takeda took me into places I never quite expected. It's like an insider's journey into science fiction geekdom. It's a tremendously sincere book that led me to reconsider Neon Genesis Evangelion for a later date. There was much more research required for that epic story than I anticipated and I simply couldn't short change it.

Ergo Proxy. I did however deliver on two entries for the anime series Ergo Proxy. It's a solid endeavor and I urge you to give the neo-noirish sci-fi thriller a look. There will hopefully be more to come on that one. It may not be Neon Genesis Evangelion, but it's solid go nevertheless.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic BIG 50+: Greatest TV Influences. The Sci-Fi Fanatic BIG 50+: Greatest TV Influences was a labor of love in assembly. We did do a number of top 10 lists over the year, but this particular BIG 50 was an unexpected hit and remains a popular staple visit here at the site. I suspect this is one of those entries a lot of folks can relate to from our generation. Anyway, it was good fun to coordinate.

My Neighbor Totoro. As family films go they really don't get more perfect in animation than director Hayao Miyazaki's classic My Neighbor Totoro. Every stoke of paint, every animated cel and every spoken word of dialogue is a like a living, breathing thing of beauty. This is quite simply one of the best family pictures I've ever seen.

Land Of The Lost. Speaking of great TV influences and family fun, we even refreshed our memories by stopping into the Land Of The Lost. Let's just say it has a lot more heart and sincerity than the picture developed for cinemas.

Lost In Space. Speaking of lost, we continued our ongoing exploration of deep space a la the Robinson family and the developing villain that was Dr. Zachary Smith in our Season One look at Lost In Space.

Battle Of The Planets. On the animation front again, my exploration of Neon Genesis Evangelion led me back to my roots when it came to childhood cartoons with a revisit of Battle Of The Planets. I've always got time for the beautiful animation of the Americanized version of Tatsunoko's Gatchaman from Japan. This was art brought to life. The mech designs were out of this world and in some cases, as it was on Battle Of The Planets, they were literally from out of this world.

Voices Of A Distant Star. My never ending discovery of the anime genre always leads me to something special and Voices Of A Distant Star is a sweet, simple love story for those looking for something short and sweet. Director Makoto Shinkai has unfairly been billed the next Hayao Miyazaki or next big thing. He may not be quite ready to hold that title, but he's headed in the right direction and he has a unique storytelling and animating palette all his own.

Lance Henriksen: Profile And Measures Of The Millennium Man. One of the big blogging events of 2011 had to be found at John Kenneth Muir's Reflections On Film/TV hosted by John and author Joseph Maddrey regarding the performing arts of one Lance Henriksen. It was an eye-opener. It led me on a trek of sorts into the mind of Frank Black and Millennium for a contribution titled Lance Henriksen: Profile And Measures Of The Millennium Man as well as Images Of Millennium [Season One].

Star Trek: The Original Series. Of course I did come through with more of the beloved Star Trek: The Original Series and with that flawless cast and it's infinitely re-watchable tales. More insanely hot women certainly never hurts. Good grief those women were hot! Of course, less entertaining, but just as interesting was our occasional look at Star Trek: The Next Generation Season One.

Farscape. I also fulfilled the promise of more Farscape with our continued look at Season One. My intention is to analyze that first season in its entirety and then jump around a bit going forward as Season Two has been disappointing with the exception of a handful of episodes.

UFO. Although we never got back to the Space:1999 run we did continue our FAB FRIDAY journey through the wonderful first and only season of its Gerry Anderson predecessor, UFO, starring a whole host of hunky leads and sex kittens. Oh, and, lest we forget, a good bit of storytelling too. We even squeaked in one episode of Thunderbirds.

The Six Million Dollar Man. The new year, now the old year, also saw us introduce some of the classics from the 1970s in the form of The Six Million Dollar Man. Lee Majors was a major role model and this series was truly one of a kind. Like those wonderful corresponding toys, they just don't make them like this anymore.

The Incredible Hulk. Speaking of role models, Bill Bixby was another one who really captured a value system not unlike my own both in his performance as Tom Corbett on The Courtship Of Eddie's Father and in one of the finest superhero adaptations in television history with The Incredible Hulk by Kenneth Johnson. Both series lasted three and five seasons respectively and remain unforgettable and terrific viewing despite the more restrictive television boundaries of the day.

Fire In The Sky & Signs. Fire In The Sky and Signs have to be two of my favorite films from the science fiction genre checked out in 2010. I even took some time later to go back and add some additional production information for those interested on Fire In The Sky. Of course, we even highlighted some of the most frightening stills from the alien abduction sequence of that film too.

Soldier. I did also deliver on my promise to cover the Paul W. S. Anderson film Soldier. It was a generally solid piece of science fiction and probably one of Anderson's more thoughtful works if that makes sense.

Cujo. Looking back at the release of Stephen King's Cujo to Blu-Ray was a hoot and easily holds up today. It's definitely a film that deserves recognition as one of the better King adaptations. And speaking of frighteners, we took in the Halloween treat that was Lance Henriksen in the wicked Pumpkinhead.

I intended to bring you some Stargate Atlantis this year as well as The X-Files and that never quite materialized, though I never planned on it at the beginning of the year. So, though I did not get those series completed I did decide to look at some films from the alumni of those productions. House Of D directed by David Duchovny was a delight, while A Dog's Breakfast starring David Hewlett was an amusingly unexpected treat. Sadly, Joe Flanigan's Ferocious Planet is worth the pass. We'll see if we can't get back to Stargate Atlantis for 2012.

Stargate SG-1. We [me, myself and I] did however get to look at the milestone moment that was Stargate SG-1 Children Of The Gods offering an in-depth look at both the original version and the final cut version of that series introduction.

We also had a chance to finish off a laborious look at a Doctor Who classic in Genesis Of The Daleks. More importantly, the year saw us bid goodbye to a host of personalities including the lovely Doctor Who companion and star of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Elisabeth Sladen. She was a rare television personality with an unusually brilliant career trajectory.

Personally, looking back is a nice way to say farewell to how I spent some of my time over the year, recharge, re-evaluate and consider where I'm going with this endless thing called a blog.

The blog - It's a bit like a hamster wheel. I get in it and I run, but where am I going? I know it goes round and if I get on it it's going to be like, "Look kids! Big Ben, Parliament."

I definitely have some plans to continue work on one project I've been going at for a period in 2010. I need to get back to that and see if I can bring it to fruition. That's one of my New Year's resolutions. I'm really quite hopeful. As a result, my writing here may be spotty. I hope not and I will make every effort to balance both, but with limited time something has to give. I stumbled upon my horoscope while watching the neighbor's dog and getting their newspaper at the end of the driveway. It said to me, and not that these things are incredibly profound, "Working effectively toward a long-term goal means sometimes forgoing opportunities for pleasure and fun." Yeah. True.

So what concoctions are in store for 2012? Well, I definitely plan to bring you more of what visitors appreciate here at Musings Of A Sci-Fi Fanatic - I think vibrant, colorful, thoughtful entries! Anime including Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind and potentially Neon Genesis Evangelion, The Fourth Kind, Communion, Prometheus, Star Trek: The Original Series, Battlestar Galactica [the Glen A. Larson original], Doctor Who, Farscape, more FAB FRIDAY surprises including UFO and hopefully Space:1999, The Incredible Hulk, a look at Season One of The X-Files, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG-1 with more world according to Jack O'Neill moments.

So, yes, I may not write quite as much, but I won't stop trying to have that "pleasure and fun" writing right here. Let's face it, it may be like the hamster in that hamster wheel. I may not know where I'm going and it may be nowhere, but I like running inside that wheel too. The pleasure is undeniable. Here's looking at 2012. All the best.


jdigriz said...

Looking forward to whatever you write about in 2012. Happy New Year

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

Very nice of you to say. Thank you and all the best to you in 2012 too.

John Kenneth Muir said...

SFF: I loved visiting your blog in 2011 and reading your excellent musings on sci-fi tv and film.

And I don't know that I've ever thanked you, either, for turning my family on to the wonderful My Neighbor Totoro. That is currently my son Joel's favorite movie. We must have watched it twenty times at this point. My wife and I love it too. Joel is especially fond of the Soot Sprites...

I can't wait to read more of your thoughts in 2012!


The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

You are very kind John. You have always been one of my greatest advocates and supporters here and I thank you for that.

My two children went through the same love affair with the film. It's easy to love. There's not an impure thought in a beautiful film about love for family and where they live. It should be required viewing. : )

Once again, thank you jdigriz and John for your kind words.

J.D. said...

Congrats on a great run in 2011. You posted many, many fantastic articles. And while I may not have commented on all of them, I read every single one. You really know how to balance excellent observations with indepth production info - something I always enjoy as you well know. Your blog inspires me to be a better writer and I really look forward to what you have in store this year.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

GOsh J.D., your words are very, very kind, and I can only assure you that the feeling is entirely mutual.

I may not always comment, but always enjoy your work and likewise you, too, inspire my own work. You are one hell of a quality writer.

Anyway I appreciate the kind sentiment and will aspire to bring my best to you in the year of Apocalypto. ;)

Equally, I look forward to your continued work of excellence and all you have under the hood of that Radiator Heaven.