April 24, 2006
Rejected Column Titles: "Kirk Wouldn't Stoop That Low", "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot," "Resistance is Futile," and "some sort of Locutus pun?" This one goes out to all the nerds in the hizz-ouse.Holographic wow
Aeon Flux: All You've Ever Needed From Sci-Fi
So in honor of it now coming to DVD, I instead pulled out my DVD Box set of the animated series and remembered all that I loved about it in the first place.
And what did I love about it? So happy you asked...
Only 10 full episodes long, the show started as a series of shorts on MTV's Liquid Television in the early 90s. It aired circa the same time as the The Head and The Maxx — similarly offbeat animated series on MTV. The concept of the show, in case the movie confused you into thinking it was something else, is that Aeon Flux is a terror agent working for Monica. Trevor Goodchild has become sole ruler of Breen. Trevor is also some sort of science whiz and inventor and Aeon is generally out to stop whatever it is he is up to this time.
Aeon and Trevor's relationship is the center of the show and you don't need to know the spiritual meaning of aeons to enjoy it. It's clear they're both attached and attracted to each other. There is a duality in the leader and the terrorist, a man and a woman — but they are the only ones who truly understand each other. They both treat their rather serious and important jobs as mere hobbies which pursuing their personal interests (each other).
Aeon combines all the things that are best about the sci-fi genre — Philosophy, Sex, Politics, Gadgets. The show has it all. And chicks love this show. I've met a lot more women who like this show than men. The sexy love story, the strong female heroine — what's not to like?
Well, some people, and I'm not one of them, are really turned off by the look of the show. The look is unique and Aeon's emaciated body (yet big breasts) is often one of the first things that comes up in conversations about the show. Nevermind her gravity-defying hair. But like the best sci-fi, Chung creates a truly unusual world. The look may be a turn off to some at first, but once you watch the show it seems perfect for the material.
It's easy to compare this show to Japanese Anime which is known to have mature animated subject matter that also has philosophical themes and outrageous design. Chung is actually Korean but admits his influences include Japanese animation as well as German expressionism and European comics. European comics by Moebius and Bilal reach best-seller heights in their native France. And not just as a comic book best seller — but on the list that includes books. They are marketed to adults (and taken seriously by adults) in a way that American comics and cartoons are not.
|Aeon Flux stands proud next to the great writers of science fiction and the great films like Blade Runner and 2001 (both based on works by the great writers of fiction). Good action, thought provoking, aimed at adults — we should have more of it.|
I know you all are tired of me talking about Battlestar Galactica, but it is also science fiction for adults with IQs. Why does all media have to appeal to the lowest common denominator? Science Fiction is known as the genres of nerds so you think There'd be more smart sci-fi on TV. But somehow, the same genre that produced The Foundation series in the book world has given us Cleopatra 2525 on televsion.
Sure, sci-fi is a genre and is going to make media that appeals to all different kinds of people. But Aeon Flux is a great example of something that applies to the mature, intelligent adult — who was the foundation of the genre's success and respectability.
|Chung creates a world that is simultaneously fascinating and frightening. A relationship that's dangerous and beautiful. There's nothing else like it, before or after. It's a truly creative endeavor.|
Although, no matter how many times I watch it, I still have trouble making that Chronophasia episode make sense. But I enjoy trying to.
At the very least, the dumbed down awful movie version of Aeon Flux allowed the original show to be put on DVD (I had those three VHSs before and I no longer even own a VCR). So let's take a cup half full approach and not be angry that they made a really terrible movie. Just remember the show which I couldn't forget if I wanted to.
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