My roommate K and I were talking the other day about what we’d been watching in our evenings at the house after a long day. We only have Netflix, so we can usually check the queue to see what the other has picked for entertainment. Her list often includes Weeds or Dexter, shows with some element of social analysis and intrigue. She said, “I finished the first season of Pushing Daisies.”

I replied, “I was watching Stargate Universe.”

“Saw that,” she said, “and decided not to touch it.”

Like K, many people don’t fully appreciate the glory that is science fiction, especially when it’s bad science fiction. I can’t imagine why. 🙂

For me, these shows give me just the kind of escape I crave – I get to “leave” this world for a while. (In the case of Stargate Universe, I get to leave all worlds for a while since they’re trapped on a spaceship.) Other really good shows – like Weeds or Leverage – sometimes strike too close to home; their dramas are so human. Nothing like aliens to prevent that.

Plus, these shows give me a new way to look at myself – what exactly would I do if trapped on a space ship with gnat-like aliens that were stealing my water supply? What if I ended up on a planet where I had already been in history but didn’t know it because it was a timeloop? These are questions I can ponder endlessly because, well, I don’t have to figure them out.

Finally, I love these shows for two other reasons. First, they remind me of my dad, who also appreciates the kitschy alien love story now and then. Secondly, I can sew or email or play Bejeweled without losing the plot – they’re that complex.

So what do you love to watch (if you watch TV)? Or what do you love to read that pulls you out of your own life for a little while?

Stargate Universe