Topic: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

For me it's King Is Back.  It's well crafted and reminds me of an 80s Eddie Murphy movie.  Holds up and is self aware with the cheese.

Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

Anything written by Tracy Torme` and with the original cast (no Kari).

Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

The Fire Within

It's ridiculous but I still dig it

Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

I have always objected to the idea of "favourites" and prefer to add additional categories.

My favourite Quinn episodes are "As Time Goes By" and "The Guardian". "As Time Goes By" shows Quinn at his most vulnerable and fallible; "The Guardian" shows Quinn at his most mature and capable. Both episodes show Jerry O'Connell playing Quinn with a gentleness that O'Connell sadly lost later on in Season 3 and has never truly regained. "As Time Goes By" and "The Guardian" are both Quinn engaged in an human experiment. "As Time Goes By" presents Quinn as an improvising and interpid science hero who is "as slippery as an eel" but who makes mistakes and misjudgements. "The Guardian" reveals that Quinn is a man haunted by trauma but defined by mercy and his gift for problem solving.

My favourite Wade episodes are "Last Days" and "Obsession". Both have scenes where most female characters would behave a certain way but Wade offers an unexpected and character-defining reaction. In the face of certain death in "Last Days", Wade doesn't fall apart or grieve or need comfort; she tells Quinn that she feels deeply connected to her doubles and that she will live on even if she dies here. In "Obsession", a man romances Wade with a note-perfect recreation of her bedroom gained by reading her mind. Wade is outraged at the violation of her private thinking.

My favourite Rembrandt episodes are "Summer of Love" and "The King is Back" with honourable mentions for "Invasion" and "Murder Most Foul". "Summer of Love" with Rembrandt attending his own funeral is a delight and Rembrandt's cheery egotism in "King is Back" is hilarious. "Invasion" shows Cleavant's dramatic abilities at a high point when Rembrandt recognizes that his 'father' is an impostor. "Murder Most Foul" has Rembrandt intimidate a secretary to save Arturo and Cleavant's brilliant performance reminds you that Rembrandt isn't a cop but a stage performer putting on a (scary) show to help the Professor.

My favourite Arturo episodes are "Eggheads" and "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome". "Eggheads" shows the Professor at his most vulnerable with his dead wife alive on this world. PTTS shows the Professor at his most cravenly self-serving, showing Arturo's darkness and lack of integrity -- only to reveal that this treacherous Professor is a version of Arturo who never developed the loving friendships that our Arturo built with Quinn, Wade and Rembrandt. John masterfully reveals that while the Professor's morality may be questioned, the true Professor would never betray the sliders.

My favourite Maggie episodes are "Slide By Wire" and "The Return of Maggie Beckett". "Slide By Wire" reveals that Kari Wuhrer has plenty of range but was rarely given any scripts to let her demonstrate her skills; "The Return of Maggie Beckett" has some excellent character work. Both are written by Chris Black who has such an obvious crush on Kari Wuhrer (who also scripted her singing in "Way Out West"), but Black's attraction to Wuhrer leads to him writing good scripts for her to perform and I think that is a good thing (but if we get some sort of #MeToo revelation, I will change my mind).

My favourite Colin episode is "Way Out West". Charlie O'Connell does a great job presenting Colin's burning rage and moral integrity as he defeats Kolitar but doesn't murder him. Once again, Chris Black wrote an excellent teleplay (from Jerry O'Connell's pitch).

My favourite Mallory episode is "New Gods for Old" which is an excellent showcase for Robert Floyd's acting. David Gerrold's writing is splendid.

My favourite Diana episode is "Applied Physics" which is a splendid exploration of the Diana character; once more, Chris Black proves himself a spectacular screenwriter working on a truly wretched era of the series.

In terms of historical value favourites:

The Pilot is a showcase for how film-quality television was presented in the early 90s in long, gently-paced takes, limited effects and location filming.

"Invasion" is a beautiful piece of 90s science fiction television when the series 'factory' has been running for awhile: it uses existing and/or minimalistic sets and small-scale effects used to imply a larger world and mythology beyond each shot.

"Double Cross" is a demonstration of 90s action shows with chase scenes and CG effects.

"The Breeder" is a perfect (perfect as in complete in its nature) example of how 90s TV filmed women's bodies through the lens of the male gaze.

"Slidecage" is an artifact of what late above average 90s cable sci-fi shows looked like with moderate-cost interior sets (used from the cancelled TIMECOP series).

"Revelations", "The Great Work" and "Map of the Mind" are a demonstration of poor quality 90s screenwriting where page counts and timeslots were filled with characters repeating the same information over and over again until commercial.

"Please Press One" is an artifact of what poor 90s cable shows looked like with beige hallway across beige hallway.

5 (edited by RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan 2022-08-05 07:01:14)

Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

Interesting responses and thoughts.

I should have phrased this better.  This was meant to ask favorite when you literally want to relax and unwind.

For ex. my favorite overall episode of the show would be Luck of the Draw.  But it is too cerebral for me to watch in a moment I don't want to *think*.

Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

That's a tough one. Maybe Last Days. What better to relax, having a bad day and watching an episode where the world was going to end. Sorta puts everything in perspective.
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Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

Sorry, I misunderstood the question which I see now was a request for the SLIDERS episode that one finds relaxing.

I am not sure such an episode of SLIDERS exists for me. As far as I can tell, only one episode of SLIDERS was ever made specifically to make the viewer 'relax' (in a way) and it was a failure. I myself don't really watch SLIDERS to take it easy. SLIDERS at its best is too engaging, too thought provoking, too challenging, too stimulating.

I guess "Summer of Love" is pretty lighthearted and "The King is Back" is pretty low stakes; so long as Tracy Torme is running the show, Rembrandt is never in real danger.

But even then, "Summer of Love" and "The King is Back" are fascinating explorations into rhythm and blues, black families and black pop culture and all the characters strike me as Torme writing loving pastiches of all the black people he and his father Mel must have known.

The way Torme writes black characters is interesting. A lot of TV in the 90s like BABYLON 5 wrote black characters as white people played by black actors. Torme writes black people with the knowledge that to be black is to have experiences that are unique to them.

Rembrandt-2's family in "Summer of Love" is in a constant state of competition and control. They constantly need to show off and show each other up; even Rembrandt being (presumed) dead is viewed as a chance to one-up him. But Torme renders that with loving amusement. These characters are all obviously based on people Torme knew in real life.

I think Torme can tell that black people have always had to work twice as hard as white people just to earn half as much if not less. Privileged or racist white writers often paint black people as greedy, but Torme quietly observes that black people are denied so much economic opportunity; it isn't greed as much as survival.

Rembrandt-2 in "Summer of Love" clearly hated the competition (and his wife) so much that he joined the army to fight in a hopeless war. Rembrandt-2 in "The King is Back" couldn't stand having to represent all black people and fled the spotlight, but his absence hurt his bandmates and closed doors and opportunities.

I find myself thinking about all these things and these are supposedly my two 'relaxing' episodes of choice. I think only one episode of SLIDERS was ever made for relaxation: it was "The Breeder", an episode explicitly designed as a brainless, male gaze driven, masturbatory fantasy to stare at Kari Wuhrer's liposuctioned stomach and scalpel refined brows and collagen-inflated lips and the two leaky bags of saltwater pressed into her chest.

But even when SLIDERS aimed for this very low-hanging, very easy target, it failed. It completely crashed. Let's take this seriously: let's say SLIDERS, being a multigenre series that can do any kind of story, decides it wants to do a pornographic film that could be broadcast on FOX. What is the format of pornography? I'm somewhat speculating here; I don't object to pornography, they don't seem to make it for me, but the goal in this instance would be to create a sexual fantasy in which the average male viewer can imagine themselves having sex with a sexually liberated Maggie Beckett who propositions Rembrandt, random male strangers and a random woman. This would be the porn episode of SLIDERS. This is the only format that would make sense for goal of this episode: to let the viewer vicariously enjoy Kari Wuhrer's body.

SLIDERS didn't make a porn movie with "The Breeder" which is odd because they were trying to make one. Somehow, they made a horror movie instead. Maggie isn't an enticing male fantasy in this episode, even in terms of the male gaze. She's hideous and the episode is nauseating. Yes, Kari Wuhrer wears a very tight, very low cut dress and gets naked and slips into a pool and is absurdedly sexual with every male character. But Maggie maims the one man who takes an interest in her and kills everyone else whom she seduces.

Maggie snaps their arms. She strangles them. She chokes them to death so that the parasite can infest their bodies with its offspring. It speaks to how broken and damaged David Peckinpah and Alan Barnette were that they sought to make porn and somehow made repulsive, sickening body horror.

This is not anybody's sexual fantasy no matter how much they might like undernourished women who have been surgically-augmented for the male gaze. I'm not a very sexual person, and some people might appreciate bondage and sadomasochistic sexuality, but would even those people want to be drowned in a pool or strangled and infected by a savage parasite in a gym shower?

"The Breeder" was SLIDERS one and only attempt at an episode for its audience to watch to 'unwind'. I find it unlikely that this bleak, angry, hateful, contemptuous episode could ever be appreciated even in terms of a sexual fantasy. Would people watch it just to see Kari Wuhrer in states of undress? I find that impractical; anyone who wanted to watch Kari Wuhrer's nude scenes could have gone to a video rental store to find her direct to VHS features.

I do have a certain fondness for relaxing TV shows. VIRGIN RIVER is a show where the stakes are so low and the consequences so mild that I watch it while doing laundry. I have similar feelings about THE BIG BANG THEORY and YOUNG SHELDON. Another super low-stakes TV show I love is the 90s ELLEN sitcom in which my favourite episode is the one where Ellen has to move a fridge.

If SLIDERS had been set in a fast food restaurant called Sliders (mini hamburgers!) with Quinn on the grill, Rembrandt on cash, Wade on drive-thru and the Professor as the manager, then SLIDERS would have been a lightweight product. But SLIDERS is not a product for relaxation. It isn't a low-stakes show and even when it tried to do that (once), it couldn't pull it off.

Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

If I had to pick one, it would be the pilot movie (actually titled “Sliders”).  It’s a well crafted story that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the show, and it never gets old for me.

Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

The King is Back is pretty good to unwind with. The Chasm honestly is quite nice for that as well. Several of the movie ripoffs are too. They're just so absurd, with a subtle campy comedy movie undertone.
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Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

Summer of Love, Luck of the Draw Alternateville Horror and World Killer.

Re: What is your "go-to" Sliders episode? When you just want to unwind...

Luck of the draw. Post-traumatic slide syndrome. In Dino veritas.