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About Us: Jess Lynde

Here's the next installment in our "meet the writers" series. Meet Jess Lynde!

What area of the world do you live in, and what do you do? (Because we all know you don't make any money doing this.)

Western New York State. I’m a community/transportation planner by day (and sometimes by night for community meetings).

What show or shows are you covering on the site?

Stargate Universe, Wonderfalls, The X-Files, Farscape, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Fill in the blanks: "If ______ weren't already doing a great job, I would review _____."

Josie, Chuck

What's your favorite television show of all time? (Okay, top five will do if you can't narrow it down to one.)

I can’t even narrow it down to five! Here’s seven that I feel pretty passionate about: The Wire, The X-Files, Lost, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And I want to add Homicide: Life on the Street. I kept putting it on and taking it off the list because I was trying to keep it close to the specified five, but I really think it should be on. I was pretty passionate about that one, too. At least until the later seasons. But, hey, I put X-Files on the list and I was not really digging that much in the later years either!

And I can just say that, in general, I kind of hate these favorites lists (not really) because I just can't stop thinking about them and I realize all these other favorites that I forgot. I didn't even cover any comedy favorites in my selections! Ack!

OK. Hopefully that's it. Must. Stop. Thinking. About. Favorites.

What was the first show you fell in love with?

The X-Files was my first full-on obsession.

What show would you consider to be your guilty pleasure?

Project Runway.

Who's your favorite male television character? Same question for female.

I can’t choose just one ---

Male: Spike and Wesley (Buffy/Angel), Sawyer (Lost), Frank Pembleton (Homicide), John Crichton and Scorpius (Farscape), Benton Fraser (Due South), Al Swearengin (Deadwood), Daniel Jackson (Stargate: SG-1), Jack Bristow (Alias).

Female: Tami Taylor (Friday Night Lights), Starbuck and Laura Roslin (Battlestar Galactica), Aeryn Sun (Farscape), Zoe Washburne (Firefly), Delenn (Babylon 5), Dana Scully (The X-Files), Sydney Bristow (Alias).

Favorite television theme song?

Three shows for which I will watch the credits even though I’ve seen them a million times --- The Wire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Chuck. I'm also kind of fond of the themes for MacGyver and Knight Rider, as well as the cheesy goodness of The Greatest American Hero and Family Ties.

What character do you identify with the most, and why?

Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights. Tami is a loving wife and mother, who is a strong and (occasionally fiery) woman in her own right. Most of what I watch is either so fantastical or so gritty that I can’t relate to the extreme lives of the characters. I’m just a simple planner. Happily married with two kids. Proudly TV obsessed. Tami has the life that’s closest to the one I lead, and I hope that when my daughters are teenagers that I can be the kind of mother she is --- far from perfect, but still managing to have a supportive and loving relationship.

We love movies, too. What's your top five movies?

Only five? Not possible.

The Princess Bride, The Hunt for Red October, The Abyss, The Shawshank Redemption, Field of Dreams, While You Were Sleeping, Braveheart, The Last Unicorn.

I also really love the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the original Star Wars trilogy, and the Indiana Jones trilogy (Yes, trilogy --- the last Indy movie is dead to me.)

We love books, too. Who are your favorite authors? What are you reading right now?

I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I started the most recent book in that series awhile ago, but haven’t been making much progress. Other favorite books include War and Remembrance, The Stand, Ender’s Game, Sophie’s Choice, and the Harry Potter series. And I was really moved by The Lovely Bones and Eat, Pray, Love. I read them both at a time in my life where they really spoke to me and prompted me to make some changes.

When did you realize you were a hopeless geek?

I was always drawn to science fiction as a kid, because my mother really loves it and I got a lot of exposure to sci-fi television, books, and movies. Becoming obsessively addicted to The X-Files and then Babylon 5 (to the point where I’d read internet message boards) was probably the first indicator of my hopeless geekdom, but I didn’t fully embrace it until I started dating my future husband.

We joke about me progressing through “phases of gamer geekdom” --- Phase 1: video games; Phase 2: online interactive fare like Diablo and Warcraft; Phase 3a: Playing Magic: The Gathering; Phase 3b: Creating your own Magic decks; Phase 4: Playing D&D style games like Rifts. I only made it through Phase 3a, but did my husband one better in other areas of geekdom by attending the Dragon*Con convention in Atlanta a couple years ago. I made my own costumes and everything (and he helped with weaponry). The whole experience was a lot of fun!

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Per the four basic animal personality types, I’m a cross between a Lion and an Owl.

What's your sign?

When I was a kid, I used to keep two signs on my bedroom door. One said “Home of the Natural Disaster” and the other said “If you’re a bird, be an early, early bird, and if you’re worm, sleep late.” I think both still apply.

What's in your iPod/MP3 player?

Some TV and news podcasts and a wide variety of 80s pop music, classic rock, alternative rock, folk rock, and movie/television soundtracks. My favorite falling asleep mix combines the more melodic pieces from Seasons 1 and 2 of Battlestar Galactica and from The English Patient. Sounds crazy, I know.

What's your least favorite chore around the house?

Cleaning the bathroom. Specifically the shower/tub. I’m also not a big fan of doing dishes, because you are only ever done for maybe a few hours.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Solo or in a sundae: chocolate. With pie: vanilla.

Cats or dogs? Elvis or the Beatles? Sam or Dean?

Cats. The Beatles. Dean.


  1. Hi Jess! And thank you! I too was a watcher of Homicide back in the day -- sometimes it was infuriating to me since it WOULD go where it wanted, and not where I expected/wanted it to. But it was almost always compelling viewing, and felt real. Though sometimes it also played with that -- the surreal image of Frank trapped in his own head after his stroke sticks with me mightily. It was powerful both cinematically, and also as a keen reflection of that tight-tied man's utter helplessness, and as such the absolute ninth circle of hell for him.

    Western NY? It's weird, but I've been checking out that part of the state lately, mostly curiosity and to infill against my poor geography edumacation. But wow: internet mapping/satellite views are amazing ways to poke around and get a truer feel for places. What's it like? (Ok, dumb-sounding question: but I mean more than just how's the weather and taxes, or Monty Python's nudge-nudge wink-wink... err, yeah maybe I'll just stop right there). But is it hardhit like the Rust Belt these days? Is it a Lost World plateau, complete with dinosaurs? Alterna-topia? Banjo toe-picking capital of the world? Paradise on earthhhhhh... uhh, I mean of course it's TERRIBLE, just terrible, and everyone else should stay away, there's no more room here anyway and forget I said anything -- I actually live in Greenland! Yeah, that's the ticket... :-)

    A theme song that I've always liked, that helped my immersion into the show mindset (all good themes should do that, and yeah Buffy did it for sure) -- was Veronica Mars' We Used To Be Friends by The Dandy Warhols. And now I cannot NOT think of VM whenever I hear it on the radio or CD!

  2. Homicide: Life on the Street is one of those shows I’ve been meaning to watch for almost a decade now but I’ve just never got around to just sitting down and watching it. I should really get to it some day soon but your mention of the great Benton Fraser, Jess, just makes me want to revisit Due South again instead.

    Hmmm, Mounties or Baltimore cops, which would you choose?

  3. Patryk --- yes, Farscape is a go, but not until I finish Wonderfalls and Season 1, X-Files. I'm making good progress, so there's hope for Farscape sometime in August, perhaps.

    GreenHornet --- I think Western NY is just lovely. The Finger Lakes are home to some outstanding scenery and the wineries are awesome. Plus we've got lots of great apple and dairy farms. Just some beautiful country to drive through. Some of the urban areas are pretty hard hit by the economic downturn. It seems to depend on whether the city was more manufacturing-based or education/medical-based. In general, the people are pretty friendly and after years of living and commuting in the Baltimore-Washington region, I find the pace of life and the relative lack of traffic in my area refreshing and relaxing. So basically, yes it is TERRIBLE and everyone else should stay away. :)

    Also, I agree with you on the VM theme song. I hated when they changed it for the last season.

    Mark --- If you are in the mood for gritty and dark, go for the Baltimore cops. At least the first several seasons are wonderful and at times quite funny (the cynicism of Det. John Munch is something to behold), but overall it isn't exactly uplifting. If you are feeling like mildly escapist fun, you can't go wrong with the Mountie. (And can I just say that even though I loved Callum Keith Rennie as the freaky Leoben on BSG, he will always be Raymond Stanley Kowalski to me.)

  4. Jack Bristow! Can I revise my interview? He absolutely belongs on there.

    I was so intrigued by your mention of the four animals types that I googled it and found a test. Evidently I'm a penguin. I'm not really comfortable with the way the questions and answers were phrased, though. Why should my physical attractiveness influence my animal spirit?

    Perhaps all penguins feel that way, though.

  5. Thanks for the recommendations, Jess. I have been needing a bit of a Baltimore fix since The Wire ended so I’m finally going to give Homicide a try. Don’t mind if it’s too dark, gritty and depressing, that’s practically the norm for all British crime shows even the ones that starred John Thaw.

  6. It's cool that you listed both Crichton and Scorpius. They're like two different sides of the same coin! BTW, Scorpius is the coolest (and most oddly sympathetic) villain ever.

  7. Big fan of the Diana Gabaldon, too!! Took me a while to get into the latest, but once I did it was fantastic!! Of course, waiting for the next one will be aaaaggggoooonnnnyyyy!!!!!

  8. I hate to traumatise you, Jess, but rumours of a fifth Indy movie are doing the rounds.

  9. Mr. Evil, Scorpius is, indeed, one of the coolest villains ever. It's not every Big Bad that can pull off a chin thong. :)

    Danielle, I'm glad to hear that the latest Gabaldon book gets better. I'm just having trouble getting to the good parts. Part of it is that I'm distracted with other stuff, and part of it is that I can't remember what all happened in the previous book and where things left off. I keep having to pull that one out to reorient myself.

    Paul, I'm actually not traumatized by the notion of another Indy movie. I'd have some reservations, but I'd probably go see such a thing if it materializes. Although, I'd be hoping for something SERIOUSLY better than the fourth outing. That movie was just terrible. That's why it is dead to me.

  10. Jess, I love your Stargate Universe Reviews! I'm watching for the first time and after every installment I read your review. And you are so right that they should do a better job with the women on the show!! (I've watched 1.11)
    Thank you, it's a pleasure!

  11. Thank you for the kind words, Anon! I hope you enjoy the series as it develops. And feel free to leave comments on the episode reviews, too!


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