When you first realized the story ROCKED.

Inspired by the thread on “When you first realized the book you were reading sucked,” which was in turn inspired by “Books you’ve thrown across the room in a rage,” in turn inspired by “Movies you’ve walked out on,” etc.

Can you remember the moment you decided that your favorite story or stories – whether a novel, a movie, a play, a TV show – was worthy of praise unending? Tell us about it.

(And I’ll promise not to mock Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies if everybody else tries not to mock other peoples’ choices, kay?)

I’ll start things off with a few:

TV show: Angel: early in the first episode, when Angel is racing to the rescue of his very first damsel in distress, whose just been kidnapped from a parking garage. He races to his classic black convertible, leaps into the driver’s seat, and tries unsuccessfully to start the engine. “Damn it!” he mutters–then looks across the way to see that he’s in the wrong car.

Book: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman: Iorek Byrnsion versus Iofur Raknison. If you’ve read it you’ll understand why.

Movie: Down With Love: Renee Zellweger and her sidekick enter a restaurant, each clad in stunning, contrasting overcoats. They shimmy out of the coats to reveal that each is wearing a dress that exactly matches the other’s coat.

Anybody else?

TV show: Firefly. The first aired episode, The Train Job.
At the end, when Mal is trying to talk sense to the head henchman of the bad guy who hired them to steal the medical supplies, the big bonehead bad guy snarls that no matter where they hide, they won’t be safe from him, that he’ll find them and cut their throats. Mal proceeded to kick him into the engine intake, killing him instantly, then proceeds to repeat his speil to the NEXT henchman in line, who accepts the deal he’s offering eagerly.

From Reflex, by Gould. It’s the sequel to Jumper, which is a story about an average, if somewhat nerdy, guy who discovers that he can teleport.

The first chapter of the sequel ends with his wife finding out that she can teleport, too (presumably as a result of her husband teleporting her around).

That’s the first time a book has made me say, “Holy Crap!”

The first episode of Dr. Who I ever saw was the first Tom Baker episode (The Giant Robot, I think the name was.) The Brigadier and all his crew were shooting at it, with no success. Finally the brigadier sighs deeply and says “Just once, I’d like to meet an alien menace that wasn’t immune to bullets.”

I was hooked.

The first Pratchett I read was “Equal Rites”. On the first page, there’s a line that goes something like this (paraphrased):

“However, it is primarily a story about a world. Here it comes now. Watch closely, the special effects are quite expensive.”

I knew I was going to enjoy the book.
then, on the second page:

“He came walking through the thunderstorm and you could tell he was a wizard, partly because of the long cloak and carven staff but mainly because the raindrops were stopping several feet from his head, and steaming.”

It was then that I realised the book ROCKED. Never looked back, never been let down, since.

Neil Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. When Lawrence Waterhouse takes an Army placement exam and overanalyzes a simple elementary school level math question to the point where he takes the entire exam time, and a few dozen sheets of scratch paper, into taking this simple 10 second math problem and making it the basis of a number of new concepts in chaos theory mathematics, which he gets published in a math journal after the fact. But because he didn’t even answer the first simple math question correctly (according to the Army), he is deemed too stupid to do anything except play the xylophone.

Guards! Guards! - When he began his intro abou tthe guards, the ones who always come running when someone shouts and are there only as fodder for the hero, I knew that not only was this a great book but a great author.

And then Shogun. I didn’t like this book at all at first. But somewhere in the first 200 pages a transformation begins to take place. Both in the protaganist, and you, but it’s so subtle and gradual you don’t notice it. When I did notice and saw how carefully the author was taking it and how he refused to be hurried…I saw this could be a great book. And it was.


I really enjoy Steven Gould’s books - he’s got one called Helm that I read about two months after I started aikido and it was so neat to read about things I was just starting to learn!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was unable to watch until midway into the 4th season (we had no cable, and there was no WB affiliate until then. In the first episode I saw, a demon was trying to entice Willow to join him (later, I discovered this was the vengence demon who was Anya’s boss). She refuses. The demon asks, “Is that your answer?” Willow says it is. The demon sighs and hands her something, and says, “Well, if you change your mind, here’s my token. Give me a summons” and vanishes. It was so wonderfully logical and completely different from how a scene like that plays out that I was hooked.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. I was knew halfway through the first sentence: "Many years later, when he faced the firing squad, . . . "

Dr. Who – the first episode I saw was the second episode of “The Pirate Planet” (written by Douglas Adams). The villain is going to drain Earth of Element P39. I figure, sure, there’s plenty of that around. Then later the doctor says, “Element P39? That’s quartz!” And there is plenty of that around. It showed a layer of intelligence that hooked me (and “The Pirate Planet” overall is one of the show’s top stories).


“Give it it’s proper name, Major. It’s an AK-47.”

“Crap!”, says I, “This is gonna be good!”

By STEVEN Gould, which really threw me for a loop the first time I read Jumper. And yeah, I loved that first part of Reflex, too. It’s lucky she could teleport, since she was falling toward certain death at the time!

Whoa, they’re doing a jumper movie? Awesome!

Movie: The Princess Bride - during the sword fight at the top of the cliffs, probably when the immortal words were spoken: “I am not left handed either”.

TV: The West Wing - I can’t pinpoint the moment, but when the first DVD finished and realised that we’d just watched the four episodes on the trot and it had got dark without us noticing…
Book: ** Hitchhiker’s Guide - Marvin is confronted by an angry killing tank robot to whom he pours out his troubles. The robot is outraged that a fellow robot should suffer that way and proceeds to shoot out the ceiling, walls and then floor of the corridor they’re standing in and promptly falls hundreds of floors to its doom. Marvin thinks something like “It’s depressing how stupid some robots are”.

Achren, you’ve just made my day! Thanks!

Wyrd Sisters:

“When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning or in rain?”

“Well…I can do next Thursday.”

TV show:
House: I’d seen the writeup of this in the TV Guide Fall Preview issue and it looked interesting to me then, so I watched the pilot with high hopes. Pretty much from the first words out of House’s mouth, I knew I was going to love this series. And I was right. :slight_smile:

::putting fingers to temples::

Damn. My mutant clairovoyant abilities STILL aren’t working. So what is this from?


Operative: You know, in certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as you have, they would throw themselves upon their swords.
Doctor: Well, unfortunately, I forgot to bring a sword-- [stops, because the Operative hasn’t]
House, M.D.:

House: You’re a wuss. Don’t worry. Your secret’s safe with me… Hey, Wilson! Guess what Foreman just did!
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

‘You barbarians!’ he yelled. ‘I’ll sue the council for every penny it’s got! I’ll have you hung, drawn, and quartered! And whipped! And boiled… until… until… until you’ve had enough.’
Ford was running after him very fast. Very very fast.
‘And then I will do it again!’ yelled Arthur. ‘And when I’ve finished I will take all the little bits, and I will jump on them!’

Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove???

Books :

Gil’s All Fright Diner, by A. Lee Martinez. Just the Author’s thank-dedication page cracked me up. (A great fun fast read, btw, for all your horror-zombie’s are attacking quickie needs.)

Steve Martin’s Pure Drivel ditto.
Holidays in Hell by PJ O’Rourke. When in the opening story about passports and how no one can pronounce the word in the country he is in ( lebanon, I beleive.)and later on when he is reveiwing his notes about Mexico government he scrawled something like, " What the fuck is wrong with your government?" His stuff is gold.