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TV, Movies and Games > Good Introductions to Scifi/Fantasy

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message 1: by George (new)

George Corley (gacorley) | 66 comments I'm introducing my Chinese girlfriend to scifi and fantasy through movies and TV (we thought each of us should share movies and TV we like as something we can do together). I want to start with the big ones like Star Wars, Star Trek, and LOTR and work from there.

So a couple of questions: First, where to start with Star Trek? I grew up with TNG reruns, and that's where I always start, but I wonder if I should somehow introduce her to the TOS crew, maybe with Wrath of Khan or some selected episodes, before I jump in. I think Star Trek is important, since it shows what at least some Americans think an ideal society should look like. Where do you think I should start with it?

Secondly, do any of you have any recommendations outside of what I have put up here? I'm a little concerned that Star Trek has too much technobabble for a non-native speaker, so maybe some less jargony series or movies would be good as well.


message 2: by Katy (new)

Katy | 25 comments Firefly and Serenity. Science fiction, but the tech is minimal, and the characters are amazing. Start with the TV series, then watch the movie. The entire crew consists of smartasses, and the banter is awesome, not to mention the storytelling.


message 3: by George (new)

George Corley (gacorley) | 66 comments Katy wrote: "Firefly and Serenity. Science fiction, but the tech is minimal, and the characters are amazing. Start with the TV series, then watch the movie. The entire crew consists of smartasses, and the bante..."

That one will be on the list. I look forward to her laughing at their incomprehensibly awful Chinese.


message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Harmon (thesaint08d) | 639 comments Yes Firefly/Serenity is a must.

Star Wars original Trilogy is obvious


message 5: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments I think it was Robert Fulghum who said, "I wish I could learn another language well enough to get their humor." I remember when my cousin was showing her German husband Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the first time, how she had to explain the wordplay as they went, but the sight gags were obvious. Something like Joss Whedon's work would probably be harder for her to assimilate without a solid grasp of the language.

Unambiguous stuff like Star Trek TOS is probably your best bet. Also things like Forbidden Planet or John Carpenter's The Thing. Maybe Big Trouble in Little China, since it doesn't stereotype Chinese and is quite funny.

I suppose it depends on what kind of stuff she likes. Scarier things like Alien/Aliens or lighter fare such as Back to the Future.


message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Harmon (thesaint08d) | 639 comments Doctor Who Maybe...seems everyone is falling in love with that again...Star with 2005 series relaunch maybe.

Blade Runner?

ALien 1&2

Matrix

Highly visual things are good in this case I think.

Hellboy

Highlander

Buffy

Pacific Rim

Even some old School Like independence Day, Armageddon, District 9, Princess Bride

Just Some thoughts


message 7: by Katy (new)

Katy | 25 comments Paul wrote: "Doctor Who Maybe...seems everyone is falling in love with that again...Star with 2005 series relaunch maybe.

Blade Runner?

ALien 1&2

Matrix

Highly visual things are good in this case I think.

..."


Oh, yeah. District 9. That's a great movie. Inception too. Dark City, if you think she'd be into something that strange. The Fifth Element


message 8: by George (new)

George Corley (gacorley) | 66 comments Hellboy is one of my faves, that one will definitely be on my list. I will watch anything del Toro (though I haven't gotten to Pacific Rim), but some of my faves among his works are in Spanish, and my GF really wants to improve her English. Probably get into those ones later.


message 9: by Erik (new)

Erik Redin (erik_redin) | 149 comments Firefly was my first thought also, not so much because of the Chinese cursing, but because Whedon's work generally appeals to men and women equally.

I'd throw the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's STARDUST into the mix. Really good fantasy film. Also, The BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy seems obvious.


message 10: by T.R. (new)

T.R. Goodman (trgoodman) | 39 comments Some great choices so far. The original Star Wars trilogy, Firefly and The Fifth Element were the first I thought of.

I would also add: The Last Starfighter, Legend, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, and Krull.


message 11: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1154 comments Oh the Princess Bride (movie) is a must see, and Firefly is great. There's a whole thread on where to start with Star Trek. I'd say Alien and/or Terminator and probably Back to the Future, Blade Runner, Labyrinth. Start her off with the basics and see what she likes then go from there.


message 12: by Mpauli (new)

Mpauli Apart from the already mentioned Firefly, Babylon 5 and of course Battlestar Galactica (I prefer the new series) are favourites of mine and both are great in characters and plots.


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 491 comments Erik wrote: "I'd throw the film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's STARDUST into the mix. Really good fantasy film. Also, The BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy seems obvious. ."

I think Stardust is a superb movie to introduce a non-genre fan to - firstly because I think it's a genuinely great movie, it is just so well written, but the humour and romance make it so accessible. And The Princess Bride surely goes without saying.

SF is harder than fantasy, I think. I'll get back on that one.

I have a friend who spent years trying to find some genre stuff his girlfriend (now wife) would enjoy and failing miserably and then one day ET was on the TV and she said "I love that movie!" When he picked himself off the floor and said he thought she hated SF she genuinely looked confused and said "That's not science fiction".

Actually, maybe that's a good starting point, those 80s SF classics - Cocoon, Batteries Not Included, Ghostbusters, Starman, The Last Starfighter, Short Circuit, Gremlins. They were all initially based in the real world, with a human protagonist and then the SF/fantasy introduced.


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