Tuesday, January 8, 2008

That's Their 25 Best?

It's been passed around quite a bit in the past few days but take a look at Entertainment Weekly's selection for the best science fiction movies and television shows of the past twenty-five years. Go ahead and look, I'll wait.

So is that the worst list ever or what?

I mean the first thing you see when you go to that list is V. V, the low quality miniseries about reptile space aliens stealing earth's water. They say it's a cautionary tail about fascism but then why not add a good one to the list like the coincidently named V for Vendetta?

The Clone Wars is on the list and that was an okay bit of animation but it was disjointed just by being set up in three minute chunks. If they wanted a Star Wars item on the list and wanted to stay away from the new trilogy then maybe Return of the Jedi might have been a good choice.

Two Paul Verhoeven movies are on the list one of which is generally regarded by science fiction fans as one of the greatest travesties in modern film. It makes me wonder if the person who compiled it actually watches a great deal of science fiction or if they just picked a bunch of names out of a hat.

Notably missing is a field where science fiction has flared to prominence in the past twenty-five years: anime. While I wouldn't want to flood the list with animated movies and television shows it would be easy to justify quite a few. Sticking to just the big names which are major oversights Akira, Ghost in the Shell, or Cowboy Bebop easily outclass the bulk of their list.

Now I'm not one for trying to make numbered lists. My moods change from day to day and how I'd rank something shifts so I won't try to rework the list. Instead I'm just going to run through twenty-five shows that were not on their list but were better than some of the things they had:

28 Days Later
Alien Nation
Babylon 5
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Cowboy Bebop
Crest of the Stars
Dune (the miniseries)
Ghost in the Shell
Jurassic Park
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Now and Again
Red Dwarf
Return of the Jedi
The Road Warrior
Stargate SG-1
The Truman Show
Twelve Monkeys
Twilight Zone (the 80's television series)
V for Vendetta
X-Men 2

I'm sure that another science fiction fan would be able to come up with more and that will always be a problem with making this kind of list. Still the list that Entertainment Weekly had was packed with weak entries and quite a few that were completely terrible so just about anything would be better.