Keith R.A. DeCandido (kradical) wrote,
Keith R.A. DeCandido
kradical

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some TV thoughts

Thoughts on Supernatural, Sanctuary, Heroes, Primeval, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, CSI: NY, and Stargate Atlantis with spoilers:

Supernatural

Haven't seen "In the Beginning" yet, but the first two episodes were quite strong. Bringing angels and God into it is brilliant since, as Arlo Guthrie once said, you can't have a light without a dark to stick it in. If there are demons, then there must also be angels. And Castiel is a wonderful creation -- this is a Vertigo Comics angel, a mean-ass motherfucking servant of God. I'm also very glad that they finally addressed the fact that, every time the boys kill a demon with Ruby's knife or the Colt, they're also killing the person the demon's possessed. I hope that continues to be a factor, as the callousness of the boys' behavior in that regard grows wearisome in characters I'm supposed to think of as heroes.

Of course, I'm wondering how Sam survived the three months Dean was in hell. How'd he pay for the iPod jack he put in the Impala? How'd he pay for the gas? Honestly, my biggest suspension-of-disbelief issue with the show is how the heck they pay for stuff, particularly fueling a 1967 gas-guzzler at three bucks a pop or so. Allegedly they use credit-card fraud, though there's no evidence that they have the machinery needed to do that, and Dean hustles pool and wins lots at poker. Sam does neither of the latter, and he didn't stay in touch with Bobby, so how'd he keep the Impala running? How'd he eat?

Still, these are minor quibbles. I continue to adore the show, and like where they're going this year. It's a logical next step....


Sanctuary

An interesting cousin to Primeval and Torchwood, this Sci-Fi series -- which is spun off a web series -- is mildly interesting. Amanda Tapping is the star, and she plays a character who's 180 degrees from Samantha Carter. In fact, the thing that makes Sanctuary stand out from the other two shows mentioned is that Tapping's Helen Magnus is far more serene and intellectual than the more manic Cutter and Captain Jack.

I like the fact that the show is based on rescuing and helping monsters and freaks instead of shooting them, and there's no technobabble excuse for the monsters like the other two shows -- no anomalies, no rift, just the world we live in, slightly skewed. Having the male lead, Dr. Zimmerman, have Shawn Spencer-like observational prowess is a bit odd, and I hope they drop that.

It's entertaining to see Vancouver Central Casting regulars. Not just Tapping, but Christopher Heyerdahl as the main villain, Kavan Smith as a cop, and Kandyse McClure as Zimmerman's ex.

I'm enjoying it enough to keep watching next week. Heck, Tapping alone would be enough to keep me watching....


Heroes

On the one hand, I'm really enjoying seeing all the characters again. It's a joy to see Hiro, Ando, Parkman, Bennet, the Petrelli brothers, et al. Unfortunately, there's a certain amount of sameness to the storyline. This is the third year in a row that our heroes have gotten a vision of the future and they have to change it. We've even got a new Isaac, albeit one played by a much better actor. *chuckle*

I also still hold to the fact that Sylar should never have survived the end of the first season. Besides the fact that it cut off Hiro's heroic journey at the knees, the character was pretty much done. His plotline dragged down the second season considerably, and -- while the teaming of him with Bennet is amusing -- having him try to be a good guy now reeks of a desperate attempt to keep a popular actor around at the expense of story sense. (SEE ALSO: James Marsters.)

Still, it's good to see that Parkman appears to be having a substantial role this season -- Greg Grunberg has been criminally underused on this show -- and it's always good to see Jamie Hector, late of The Wire. I enjoy these characters enough that I'll keep watching, but I was really hoping for something different in the plot....


Primeval

terri_osborne has described this as crack, and it really is. I finally caught up with this show in a marathon viewing a couple weeks ago, and I fell instantly in love. I adore the characters, I adore the writing, I mostly adore the CGI -- the most recent episode fell down a bit with a sabre-tooth, as CGI renders feathers and scales far more effectively than it does fur -- and I adore Rex. In fact, there's not nearly enough Rex. *nods*

Because I'm me, the first thing I did was see if the people publishing Primeval books were taking pitches. (They're not at present, but that may change.)


Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

This show has been uneven, but holy fucking shit was "Alison from Palmdale" great stuff. The episode was written by Toni Graphia, who was on the writing staff of Carnivale and Battlestar Galactica, and it was simply fantastic. Beautifully structured, elegantly themed, with some magnificent revelations about Cameron, and a lovely colloquy on the nature of lies. We got a truly superb performance by Summer Glau, who in essence plays three different roles here, sometimes playing two of them at the same time, and some interesting revelations about our main bad guy, which mostly provoked many more questions.

Also: Busy Phillips is adorable, and kudos to her for still working while nine months' pregnant.

I never thought anyone could replace Linda Hamilton's amazing performance in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but Lena Headey is simply stellar in this show, modulating easily from action hero to mother to friend to tragic figure and back to action hero again. I was very impressed with her performance as Queen Gorgo in 300, and she's even more amazing here.

Another cool thing: this episode was almost entirely about female characters. John Connor was incidental to the story, and neither Derek Reese nor Cromartie nor Charley Dixon even appeared in the episode. Only Agent Ellison had meat to his story, and even there it was Catherine Weaver's story that was of more interest. I mention this only because the episode itself drew no attention to it. Heck, I only just realized it now while writing this post. That, ladies and gentlemen, is progress.


CSI: NY

Not much to say here. It remains, as popfiend has said, CSI: Justice League. It's written as if New York City were roughly the size of Duluth and populated almost entirely by rich white people (seriously, guys, this is possibly the most ethnically diverse city in the world, let's see some nonwhite faces, 'k?), but I remain hooked on it. I blame the novel -- I had to inhabit these characters' heads for the time I spent writing Four Walls and now I have to know what happens to them.

BTW, kudos to Robert Joy and AJ Buckley, who received very well-earned promotions to opening-credits regulars. Both characters are a joy, and I'm glad to see them getting the prominence they deserve. I'm told that Detective Angell will continue to recur this year, also, which makes me happy, as she's my favorite character. *grin*


Stargate Atlantis

Sigh. This could've been a great show. At least it remains a fun show. And the first of the two-parter that brought Michael Shanks's Dr. Daniel Jackson onto the show for the first time since the pilot was quite entertaining. (Amusing bit of trivia: all but three of the opening-credits regulars that Stargate SG1 ever had have appeared on Stargate Atlantis. The only exceptions are Ben Browder, Claudia Black, and Corin Nemec.) I was especially pleased that, with Rodney having been kidnapped along with Daniel, David Nykl's Radek Zelenka (my favorite character on the show) got a chance to shine. I still hold to my theory that Zelenka's really the smartest person on the expedition, but he prefers to let Rodney take all the credit, as well as all the responsibility, so he can just sit back and work to his heart's content without the agita. In fact, during the fourth season, Rodney was the third-smartest person on Atlantis (after Zelenka and Carter).


Also: enjoying the shit out of The Shield and Sons of Anarchy. Maybe more on that some other time...........
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  • on the WordPress blog

    Here's the latest from my WordPress blog.... Me on the Dice Geeks podcast talking about writing and stuff. I'm on a panel for Dragon Con's…

  • on the Word Press blog

    Here's what's been on DeCandido dot Word Press dot com over the last month..... My 2005 Spider-Man novel Down These Mean Streets will be released…

  • on the Word Press blog

    Here's what's gone on in the last month on the blog that I regularly update.............. I appeared on SciFi4Me's "Live from the Bunker," talkin'…