A couple of months ago, I discovered that Aquarius Video, a few kays up the road in Edmonton, has a pretty damned decent stocks of science fiction tapes and DVDs, including TV series (yes, even Firefly). Recently I've started hiring the DVDs for the first season of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda. It's one of those shows that previously I've not paid much mind to, for two reasons: 1) the general buzz seemed fairly dismissive, along the lines of boobs-and-beefcake SF, and 2) it starred Kevin Sorbo.
In all fairness to points 1) and 2) above, there was really a third point: I didn't know any video store that stocked the DVDs. I mean, I really don't have anything against Kevin Sorbo, especially as he's gone from a mediocre actor (singlehandedly putting me off Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) to a pretty good actor (see guest spots in Dharma & Greg). I just wasn't really willing to splash out on a series boxed set (or even the individual DVDs) without trying it first.
The discovery that Aquarius has what looks like most of the series on DVD and the fact that Andromeda wound up its fifth season this year made me curious - after all, any non-Trek SF show that does more than two seasons has to have something going for it. So I started renting the DVDs.
Vickie and I discovered two things:
One, while Andromeda isn't the good, meaty SF TV we've been treated to over the past few years, like Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica, we discovered that it is very good at being what it is: an SF action-adventure show that puts fun ahead of deep issues or angst. We don't often see action-adventure shows nowadays, especially not "genre" shows; I think the closest I've seen lately has been Numb3rs (and even that has its share of angst).
I mean, it's boobs-and-beefcake - well, more beefcake than bookbs - not to mention forehead-of-the-week, but it's not ashamed of it - it doesn't let it get in the way of having TV fun, and also tries to put a message in as well. And, yes, Kevin Sorbo leads the show very well!
And two, we discovered - or should I say, Vickie discovered - Keith Hamilton Cobb as Tyr Anasazi.
Now, I could spend a few words explaining, but instead let me just show you this:
You know what I said about boobs-and-beefcake? This guy is the thinking woman's beefcake. I tell you, whenever he's bare to the midriff and Vickie's out of the room, I pause the DVD and say, "Dar-ling! Tyr's got his shirt off again!"
Vickie herself said to me, "Love, you know I don't really look at other men; even the good looking ones I'll check out once. But I'd look at him all day, he's gorgeous!"
And, I mean, just look at those pictures again - or hell, even watch an episode of the show with Tyr in the spotlight (he's such a calculating badass that he makes Jayne look like a schoolyard bully). How can you argue?
I'm starting to seriously look at all that gym gear that Vickie's son Karl left in the garage...