So, thanks to teevee on the internet and my procrastination
habit needs, I'm embarking on a massive rewatch of Highlander. I'm only 10 episodes in to season 1, but it's really funny to watch myself watch the show, if that makes sense. I react to it quite a bit differently than I did when I watched it the first time around. A big part of that was my age, of course. I watched the series when it was in syndication on USA when I was in middle school and maybe early high school, so obviously I'm watching this show in a completely different register now that I've reached the ripe old age of [somewhere in my middle twenties]. A second is chronology. Since I was watching it in syndication, I didn't always have a full sense of where things fell in the timeline of the show. I had a general sense of what happened in which season, or at least which characters appeared when, but the finer details usually got lost on me. So especially in these first 10 episodes, I've been noticing little bits and pieces, like, "Oh, that's the first time Tessa saw a quickening," and also the development of Richie's character and his relationship with Mac and Tessa.
It's funny, but as a young teenager I didn't really care that much about the female characters on the show. I was basically indifferent to Tessa, and I remember finding Amanda fun but again, she just didn't make a big impression on me. The exception to that might have been Alexa, but she didn't actually get much screen time and I was much more interested in her relationship with Methos, or you might say I was much more focused on the idea of his relationship with and love for her. But, on balance, I was way more interested in the pretty men swinging swords around than I was in the supercool women characters, much to my chagrin.
This time around, I'm really appreciating Tessa as a character. She's strong, clever, and resourceful, and I love that she understands and accepts Mac for who he is, up to and including the fact that he is a TOTAL player (honestly, at some point in the middle of the series I remember feeling like every single flashback had to do with one or more of Duncan's sexual exploits). But he's so earnest about it and she clearly has total confidence in their relationship. There's a point in "Revenge is Sweet" where Tessa says to him, "I love that you love women, but you need to start thinking with your brain instead of your penis." She loves him but she's not afraid to criticize him, and doesn't just let herself be a damsel in distress. Plus she's badass with that blowtorch.
It seems like at this early stage they were still experimenting with exactly what they wanted to do with the show--all the angles with the police and how Duncan keeps turning up in various crime investigations and that annoying reporter! I'm glad they abandoned that eventually; this isn't a cop show, and those storylines were often (though not always) clumsy and distracting from the stuff of real interest. I do look forward to the show hitting its stride in the middle seasons, the ones where we switch back and forth from the dojo in...Seacouver, is it? (Is that a fannish invention or is that canon?) and the barge in Paris, though I don't quite remember in an overarching sense how we get from here to there. Still, Joe Dawson was one of my favorite characters, and I really, really can't wait to get to the Methos episodes. The dynamic between the three of them was really fun.
Last random points:
Oh, the fashion! It was pretty awful back in 1992. I'm glad I was too young to wear a lot of those clothes (though I did have a pretty awesome pair of huge purple glasses).
In other things that date a show, the thing that always stands out to me, after the clothes, are phones. Exactly one cell phone has turned up in 10 episodes, which is about par for the course in 1992 when cell phones were still far too expensive and bulky for most people to have them. But still. I was thinking about how differently these things make us think about writing. No one ever has to find a pay phone or wait at home in case so-and-so calls. You have to engineer a cell phone-less situation if you don't want your conflict solved by the Verizon network, etc.
Anyway, just my thoughts. Yours?
For the Highlander fans on the flist...I think there are a few of you floating around, no?