All posts filed under: Television Shows

Ekostories in episodes of television series.

Avatar: The Last Airbender Wordle 1

Avatar: The Last Airbender – World and Mythology

Just to make it clear, this will not be about James Cameron’s Avatar. Nor is it about The Last Airbender, the live-action adaptation by M. Night Shyamalan. Instead, this series will be devoted to the popular animated television show titled Avatar: The Last Airbender. I’ll simply refer to the show as Avatar in this and other subsequent posts. The series was first brought to my attention by a good friend of mine; I initially paid little heed to his initial sales pitch of “it’s really good!” because we generally have very different tastes. But on one Sunday afternoon, I happened upon an episode (now known to me as Bitter Work) and was caught off-guard by the show’s blend of Eastern influences, subtle characterizations, sharp dialogue, slapstick humour, layered mythology, and most important of all, excellent storytelling. Intrigued, I decided to catch up on the series from the beginning. It has since grown to become one of my favourite television shows, animated or otherwise, of all time. Like many contemporary works of fantasy for children and young …

Star Trek’s Finest Hour: The Inner Light

Star Trek: The Next Generation was one of the first western television shows I recalled watching. As a kid, I didn’t understand why people were dressed up in primary colour uniforms or what they talked about, but it all sounded very interesting and important. As my English comprehension skills improved, it grew to become one of my favourite shows and provided my first exposure to science fiction. Many people who dismiss science fiction tend to think it begins and ends with rocketships and warp drives, along with the implication that to escape from the real world is essentially a childish impulse. But many of the best sci-fi stories are able to use the metaphors of the genre as unique vehicles to deliver insight into the human condition: “Science fiction is metaphor. What sets it apart from older forms of fiction seems to be its use of new metaphors, drawn from certain great dominants of our contemporary life – science, all the sciences, and technology, and the relativistic and the historical outlook, among them.” -Introduction to …

Louis CK - Everything is Amazing Nobody is Happy

Louis C.K. – Everything is Amazing!

Comedy is frequently regarded as being inferior to drama; you will never see a comedy win Best Picture at the Oscars. The fool forever plays second fiddle to the tortured soul. That seems a shame. In my opinion, comedy is as equally as difficult to master as drama; stand-up comedy is perhaps the hardest craft of all. I really admire stand-up comedians; it takes a lot of courage and a dose of instability to do what they do. Not everyone can become one. Even in the telling of a joke, many of us rush or meander, mess up the sequence of events, skip crucial information, dwell too much on non-essentials, botch the delivery, and mangle the climax. To a comedian, committing any of these mistakes amounts to losing the audience: the story must be told rightly or not at all. In that sense, standup comedians are the storytellers of the modern age. Being able to tell a story well is an art and a gift; there is skill, craftsmanship, and artistry involved in creating and …

Jim Henson's Dinosaurs Word Cloud

A 90’s Flashback: Dinosaurs’ Changing Nature

Television sitcoms are unlikely sources for meaningful stories about the environment. But there are exceptions. I found one of them in Jim Henson’s Dinosaurs, a puppet show that ran for four seasons from 1991 to 1994. Dinosaurs takes place in 60 million years BC and follows the lives of a typical dinosaur family: Earl Sinclair, father; Fran Sinclair, mother (voiced by Jessica Walters, for all you Arrested Development fans out there); Robbie Sinclair, son; Charlene Sinclair, daughter; Junior Sinclair, aka The Baby; and Grandmother Phillips. The show is a satirized portrayal of the American household; each episode typically features the family dealing with topical issues of the day. The LA Times described the show as a “consistently funny comedy to chew on, the only spot on television where the Mesozoic Era intersects with witty social commentary.” Many regarded the show as a unique blend of The Honeymooners, The Flintstones, and All in the Family. The series finale titled “Changing Nature” revolves around Earl’s irresponsible actions towards the environment, and provided an emotional and lasting experience …