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December 1, 2010

10 Things You Need To See To Understand What I'm Talking About

This list is inspired by the current gaping age void in the office I work in: almost a couple of decades. Some jokes and quotes transcend the age gap e.g. anything to do with Star Wars and poking fun at Apple, however many fall into the black abyss of time and result in the phrase "What to you mean you haven't seen [insert film/TV show here]." Which got me thinking, what would be the ten things that someone would need to watch to understand what on earth I was talking about. And here they are:

  • Star Wars. All of them. Including the Zahn books (but you can stop there). And yes I mean the prequels too. If you don't understand Jar Jar's pivotal moment in the full arc of the six films then you need to try harder. Commander, tear this ship apart until you find those plans! And bring me all passengers, I want them ALIVE!
  • Back To The Future. Has it really been 25 years? Still brilliant. The scene with Marty in a radiation, playing Van Halen on a Walkman, saying he was Darth Vader from the planet Vulcan is a distillation of 80's cool into thirty seconds. Silence Earthling! My name is Darth Vader. I am an extraterrestrial from the planet Vulcan!
  • Spinal Tap. Endless quotes. Slightly bittersweet at the end. Going up to 11 has transcended the cult audience into the mainstream. None more black.
  • Bad News. Like Spinal Tap, but much sillier. ...Heavy Metal, satisfied?
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Many people prefer The Life Of Brian, but I saw this first and watched it a bout a million times on VHS with my brother. I tend to misquote it slightly, but you'll get the gist if you've seen this. ...I got better.
  • WarGames. After watching this I wanted to get a modem and try and hack Presetel on my BBC micro. Which bizarrely someone did. Still great. Hey, I don't believe that any system is totally secure.  
  • The Matrix. I'm glad there was only one Matrix film, a sequel could never have been as good as the original. Woah.
  • Van Halen : Live Without A Net. Made me want to play guitar more than anything else. Van Halen is having so much fun playing guitar. Spent the next twenty years trying to get a fraction close to EVH. Edward! You're cheating again!
  • The Day Today. Genius comedy. Not only funny but unfortunately prescient. Chris Morris, Steve Coogan, Armando Iannucci. THIS IS THE NEWS!
  • Highlander. There was only one Highlander film ever made, and it is highly entertaining. Some wanted a TV series too, but I think it would have diluted the mythos. Connor McCloud from the clan McCloud.


I totally agree with you. It's tragic that George Lucas died in that car accident in 1981, thus denying us any Star Wars films subsequent to "Empire." There's been talk about revisiting the franchise, resolving the story, maybe even doing a couple crappy Brian Herbert-style prequels to set the whole thing up, but I think it's best to leave it as is, don't you? It's not like you can write an end for the Canterbury Tales.

Likewise, I'm glad that they never remade Battlestar Galactica, and that there were only three Trek films, allowing the franchise to go out with its dignity intact in 1986. Can you imagine how terrible it would be if they'd tried to drag it out with sequels and spinoffs? Yikes!

Fortunately, no one's stupid enough to actually watch that crap.

Ha ha ha ha to the commentator above! Seriously though, you're dating yourself, James. I miss Eighties style science fiction novels. Where have they all gone? Regardless of what you might think of my taste, I've been on a Jack L Chalker novel reading binge for the past year. None of his stuff is even available new any more. Fortunately the web lets you find almost anything if you know how to look. Prior to that it was a year with Roger Zelazny. Van Halen is hot. I recently re-watched WarGames and was shocked by how simple the plot and characterizations were; and everyone looked so young!