Farscape

1999-2003, The Jim Henson Company

Farscape inspires such deliriously rabid enthusiasm that it's easy to go a little overboard about it, if only to encourage Farscape virgins to try it. The show is so self-consciously preposterous that you'll willingly suspend all disbelief just to enjoy the wild ride to come. Populated by nearly as many Jim Henson muppets as live actors, the cast of characters comprise a delightful mix of obligatory stereotypes and totally original surprises, but even the stereotypes are refreshing: as the resident alien warrior, D'Argo makes a better Worf than Worf!

Being science fiction, it's chock full of technobabble, but it's so silly and over the top that it becomes its own comic element. Farscape feels like a borderline kids' showócomplete with fart jokesóbut it does occasionally deliver some genuine adult drama. Plus, there's a surprisingly adorable romantic thread throughout. Indeed, it's been said that the show breaks one of the standing rules about sexual tension: instead of teasing it, Farscape freely embraces it, and it totally works. Incidentally, you may want to catch the final seasons of Stargate SG-1 for a parody/homage of sorts.

       

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Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars

2004, The Jim Henson Company

Sadly, Farscape was cancelled before its creators could resolve the multiple story arcs they were in the midst of shaping. Some but not all of these were tied up in this follow-up mini-series and, due to its compressed nature, it felt rushed and slightly unsatisfying. Plans for an additional miniseries never materialized owing to the disappointing ratings of Peacekeeper Wars, although the ratings paint an inaccurate picture of this endearing series.

       

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