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June 8, 2002

-Here's your chance to get on board the best science fiction television series ever! Farscape just started its fourth season on the Sci-Fi Network and if you like sci-fi, or just like smart, sexy television, then you're missing out if you're not watching every Friday night.

Some people would say to the Beefboy, "Hey Beefboy, we'll agree that Farscape is okay, but the best sci-fi series…Ever!?" Well, sit back, relax, enjoy, and let the Beefboy do, what the Beefboy does best… and that's break it right on down for you.

The Beefboy signed onto the Farscape crew somewhere near the middle of the second season. Ever since then, he's been treated to very smart writing, cinema-level special effects, great acting, many laughs and even a tear or two (yeah, even the Beefboy can turn on the waterworks from time to time, and frankly, the chicks dig it!). While other sci-fi series of the past have had highs and lows, Farscape has learned from and topped the prior pretenders to the throne. The only thing that Farscape lacked was longevity, which has just been assured by Sci-Fi Network's order of 44 new episodes, enough to keep the Beefboy in hot alien chicks for five whole seasons!

So, you're still not convinced, huh? Then let's take this step-by-step. What are some of the acknowledged best of sci-fi? Star Trek (in it's various incarnations) would come up a lot, as would Babylon 5 and The X-Files. Some people would throw in Battlestar Gallactica, the current spate of syndicated shows (Earth: Final Conflict, Stargate SG-1, Andromeda) or perhaps a group of British shows like Doctor Who, Red Dwarf or Blake's 7. Farscape beats them all, hands down.

First off, the writing on Farscape is excellent. The writers manage to turn in scripts that are engaging, witty and unique. The storylines and dialogue are first-rate. Babylon 5 suffered from dialogue issues, the lines were dull and utilitarian; the lines just basically served the plot. Writing is most sci-fi series tends to be about as exciting as a back rub by Strom Thurmond. Farscape bucks that trend by giving the audience sharp work, consistently. X-Files is the only series that meets and often surpasses Farscape with writing.

Special Effects are the hallmark of any good sci-fi series and Farscape delivers the best on television. While Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica (at least initially) and others gave us the best they could, Farscape looks better than many films. While we're on the subject of looks, the cinematography, set design and costumes are cinema quality as well. Babylon 5 suffered from being the first show to go digital, a worthy effort, but too much too soon. Star Trek has always done it's best and is a close second, but second nonetheless.

Acting in sci-fi is typically sub-par. Star Trek has its good actors, but it also has some real dogs. Babylon 5 was resplendent in bad acting as was many of its kin. Again, X-Files is hard to overlook here, the acting was excellent on that show. However, Farscape has a cast of actors who perform like they truly respect and enjoy their work. Ben Browder (Crichton) and Claudia Black (Aeryn) stand out as actors who are a rarity in sci-fi, both attractive and capable of delivering their lines with conviction. Watch those two after Farscape is over, they are going places (but hopefully not too soon).

The characters in Farscape are interesting and manage to engage you in their plight. Is there any way that the characters on Star Trek: Voyager could have been less interesting? Not only were they trapped in the wrong quadrant; they were trapped with a group more boring than a convention of golf commentators. If you aren't caught up in the triumphs and failures of the Farscape regulars, then you're not breathing air.

In fact, it's the tone of Farscape that sets it above the whole lot of science fiction television. Farscape is filled with humor and pathos, anger and love, conviction and betrayal, and a whole universe of additional emotions. Farscape works so well because, for once, the creators of the show have fully trusted the audience to care about the characters, follow the complex plot and be smart enough to appreciate an epic tale, as adults who are starved for good sci-fi stories. While other sci-fi series have attempted to create a series that doesn't insult it's audience, Farscape not only tries to make good television, but does so in such a bold manner that it rises to a level that other series have yet to attain.

Finally, Farscape is just plain sexy. There's a gaggle chicks running around in mid-drift outfits with latex pants. Despite the fact that these aliens are pretty funky-looking, the fact is, these honeys are HOT! The weirdos on Farscape hook up regularly and there's more than enough beefcake for any women too. Actually, Farscape defies one of the big tenets of sci-fi; it has a growing base of women viewers. So, for all you pencil-neck geeks out there, Farscape is your best shot at engaging a potential date in your closet nerd ways.

Farscape has everything a good sci-fi series should have- great effects, solid writing, an engaging plot and of course, sizzling alien hotties! While other series have gotten close, Farscape meets and beats all the rest. If you're missing this series then you're missing good television, plain and simple.

Dig it!

-The Beefboy