Since I follow The Onion's AV Club on Facebook, I see their Q&A feature pop up in my feed on a regular basis. They're the sort of writing prompts I can't resist and I'm not going to let the fact that I'm not technically (meaning "in any sense") in the AV Club prevent me from offering up my answers to their questions.
My first instinct is to answer Under The Dome, the show which gave the expression "hate watching" meaning for me, but since the question specifies "enjoyed", I'll go with Fantasy Island. In many ways, Fantasy Island was a repacking of The Love Boat: A one-hour anthology series featuring several storylines per episode, many celebrity guest stars, and neat wrap ups at the end of the hour. Whereas The Love Boat was never anything more than treacle, Fantasy Island had a couple of advantages over its predecessor: The wish-fulfillment premise features a mysterious host named "Mr. Roark" whose nature and abilities were never fully explained. At times he seemed a supernatural tempter who was more than willing to provide mortals the means of their own destruction. Sometimes, though, he seemed to be restricted by either his powers or his moral code, a man who genuinely sought to protect his guests from their folly.
Of course, the other ace up Fantasy Island's sleeve was the fact that Mr. Roark was played by Ricardo Montalban. His suave, sophisticated demeanor could (and did) sell people cars based on a completely made-up type of leather used in their interior. A Fantasy Island rebooted today would have a darker feel, fewer corny morality plays, and far better writing. It wouldn't, however, have Ricardo Montalban, and without him, what would be the point?
Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan is a great deal more than a Hunter S. Thompson-in-the-future stunt. It's my go-to point of reference for every election since 2004. The three candidates for President embody archetypes I didn't even know existed when I first read the book, but now I can recognize in politicians every election cycle. If you want to understand modern politics, you'll get a more realistic picture from the "Year of the Bastard" collection than you'll get anywhere else.
It's not just the politics that make Transmetropolitan the obvious choice here. The whole story is told against a backdrop of amazing technology that becomes mundane minutes after it hits the street. The poorest of the poor have miracles at their disposal, but they're shabby miracles by the time the lower class gets their hands on them. People become so jaded by their flashy toys that they forget how to do some very basic things, and the consequences of forgetting are very, very believable.
Styx's Kilroy Was Here seems like the obvious answer here: It was so reviled that it not only turned most of the band's fans against them, it actually turned most of the band against Styx. Therefore, it was the last real Styx album and that doesn't seem to fit with the spirit of the question.
Instead, I'm going to go with Rush's Grace Under Pressure. Don't get me wrong: I love Rush and always will. But, I was working in a record store when Grace Under Pressure was released and I heard it a couple of hundred times and it still never grabbed me. It felt weirdly distant and bloodless to me. Despite hearing it so often, none of the songs stuck with me.
Few bands have a three album run as strong as Rush did with Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, and Signals, so maybe Grace Under Pressure was always going to be a disappointment. I just felt as if I'd already heard the best Rush had to offer and, while I've heard every album since, I haven't felt the need to buy any of them.
I am not proud of this. For long road trips by myself, there is nothing I like more than the chicken planks at Long John Silver's. I don't mess with the sides, which are mediocre under the best of circumstances. I just get a family sized order of planks only and eat them until the grease congeals.
If you're not familiar with the chicken plank, it's a long strip of white meat which was obviously frozen, then thawed, and then dipped in Long John Silver's exquisite cornmeal batter and fried. Their cornmeal almost makes their fish taste good; on chicken, it works wonders. The only downside (other than the fact that I'm eating a family sized order of fried chicken strips) is that it loses its luster as well as its edibility when it cools down. All food has a point at which the scales tip between "delicious" and "bound for the trash." That line of demarcation comes more quickly with the chicken planks and the gradient is more severe. But, while they're still fresh? Best. Road. Food. Ever.
There's nothing that gets me going quite like coffee. Coffee, however, is not music. It may feel that way sometimes, but it is not.
The song that really gets me going in the morning is "In A Big Country" by Big Country. The guitars-sounding-like-bagpipes thing and the massive drums vaguely-uplifting lyrics feel like a call to action. Listening to it while driving in to work, I always get the urge to just keep driving and leave all of the bullshit behind and start a new, authentic life somewhere beautiful.
This is not a helpful state of mind for someone going to an office. I need something less like emotional Viagra and more like emotional saltpeter. Maybe Nine Inch Nails "Everyday Is Exactly The Same"?
On a side note, the song on my alarm clock is Mogwai's gorgeous "2 Rights Make 1 Wrong." Every alarm clock should have this built in.
That was fun. I think I'll do this on a semi-regular basis (unless I get a cease-and-desist).