2003 YEAR IN REVIEW
by David Blackwell
TOP 5 TV SHOWS OF 2003:
1. MI-5/SPOOKS- This British spy show takes a realistic take on situations that do and could happen. This show develops
compelling characters who have flaws. The lead character, Tom, tries to balance his job with a relationship only to see it
become more complicated whether he is dating someone who isn't a spy and someone who is (Christine). The first six episodes
are an intense thriller and the next 10 episodes after that are just as scary including the one about Musilm suicide bombers
and the episode where they run a test in what would happen if a dirty bomb went off in London. MI-5 doesn't cop out and the
show never plays it safe with any of the characters. The BBC is in production on season 3 with ten more episodes. The cliffhanger
of the last season 2 episode as viewers are left waiting another 8-9 months to see what happens next. US viewers do get season
1 on DVD on Jan 13, 2004. MI-5 is definitely the best show of 2003.
2. NIP/TUCK- FX brought about a series just as compelling as THE SHIELD. It focuses around a plastic surgery practice in
Miami and the people. Julian McMahon steals the show as the plastic surgeon who tries to change his womanizing ways. Sometime
NIP/TUCK is over-the-top, but it is as enjoyable. Expect the second season (15 episodes) to air on FX starting in summer of
3. THE HANDLER- This is the most new watchable crime drama of the year. It is all about undercover FBI agents and their
handler as they try to arrest criminals. Thankfully the show avoids showing the relationships the characters have out of the
job and focus on the job. They all must assume roles in this show and some guest characters do return in later episodes like
the guy who visits a rare books shop only to become the focus ina later episode. All what made this show unique for the first
few episodes they didn't have a title credits sequence like most dramas do.
4. WAKING THE DEAD- Season 3 proves this is still one of the best crime dramas being made. Trevor Eve and the other actors
are good as the members of the Cold Case Unit. Season 4 is being made ( 6 two part stories) with a fifth season in the
5. MIRACLES- ABC didn't give this paranormal series a fair shake from the constant pre-empting of the show to cancelling
it after six episodes (the last 7 episodes did air in Canada). The show was developing an interesting arc as every character
has something in their past that makes them want to investigate the supernatural. Who can't forget the word in blood: GOD
IS NOWHERE, but some people see it as GOD IS NOW HERE. i hope all 13 episodes get release on DVD soon. Richard Hatem did a
good job in creatinga show that is even better than the great movie he wrote called THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES.
6. BOOMTOWN- BOOMTOWN had an interesting way of showing things from everyone's POV as it moved foward and backward in time
to tell the story of cops and the criminals they are going after. The show was very unique in the way it told the stories
and it still managed to show that unique style in the last four episodes that aired on the weekend after Christmas. Too bad
NBC cancelled it and didn't give it more of a chance like they did with HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS.
7. GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX- I saw five episodes of this anime series that aired in Japan this year. It
is a complex sci-fi drama that has cyborgs, serial killers, politics, corporate spies, and an internet chat room of the future
among other things. Production has been greenlighted for another season fo 26 episodes. The show may be popping up on Cartoon
network this summer and on DVD in the US around the same time to coincide with the INNOCENCE: GHOST IN THE SHELL movie.
8. JOHN DOE- This show about a man who has no memmory of who he is and yet knows all of the knowledge in the world
just got better and better in the second half of the first (and only season) of the show as John Doe started to pick up more
clues on who he was, why some people are interested in him, John losing someone close to him, being reunited with someone
he once knew, and the big shocking cliffhanger ending when his greatest enemy is revieled to be someone that was helping him!
5 MOVIES ON DVD YOU SHOULD WATCH, BUT YOU HAVEN'T:
1. DOUBLE VISION- http://enterline2.tripod.com/enterline/id94.html
2. NEMESIS GAME- http://enterline2.tripod.com/enterline/id79.html
5. THE LAST MINUTE- http://enterline2.tripod.com/enterline/id81.html
TOP 5 DVDS OF 2003:
1. ALIEN QUADRILOGY- loads of extras and alternate cuts to all 4 films
2. LOTR: THE TWO TOWERS EXTENDED SPECIAL EDITION- better than the theater version and many cool featurettes on the making
of the movie.
3. FIREFLY: THE COMPLETE SERIES- all 15 hours plus 3 unaired episodes
4. 28 DAYS LATER
5. EQUILIBRIUM- the most overlooked movie of 2002 has been gaininga great following on DVD because this is a great sci-fi
BIZZARO ACTING OF 2003: Johnny Depp as the gay pirate Captain Jack Sparrow in THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF
THE BLACK PEARL.
MOVIE STUDIO WITH THE MOST WIDE SELECTION OF INTERESTING MOVIES ON DVD: Columbia Pictures. They have provide the widest
selection of interesting titles in 2003 including direct-to-video sequels, foreign movies like DOUBLE VISION, SO CLOSE, and
WASABI, and getting into the TV on DVD market (even though some of the shows could use a little more cleaning up).
MOVIE STUDIO WITH THE MOST INTERESTING TV SHOWS RELEASED ON DVD: 20TH CENTURY FOX with their releases of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE
SLAYER, ANGEL, DARK ANGEL, 24 season 2, and FIREFLY on DVD this year with more BUFFY and ANGEL DVD sets in 2004 and the release
of ROSWELL to DVD. FOX has taken a page from Columbia's book by running a TV on DVD poll online.
BEST NEW TV SHOW: JAKE 2.0
BEST SCI-FI MINI-SERIES OF THE YEAR: CHILDREN OF DUNE
SHOWS THAT SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN CANCELLED: JOHN DOE, MIRACLES, PEACEMAKERS, and BOOMTOWN
THREE WORSE SCI-FI MOVIES OF 2003:
1. LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
2. THE HULK
3. PLUTO NASH
WORST IDEA OF 2003- PREVIEWS THAT PLAY AUTOMATICALLY BEFORE THE MOVIE ON A DVD
WORST IRRITATION OF 2003- THE MATRIX RELOADED AND T3 DVDS AUTOMATICALLY PLAY WHEN PUT INTO MY DVD PLAYER!
COMING SOON: DVD review of UNDERWORLD and maybe some more material to this article
this article is (c)12-31-2003 David Blackwell and this article can't be reprinted without the author's permission.
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