Monday, October 03, 2011

Dog Cheese

Another irregular round up of the shit television I'm watching - there be spoilers in here me hearties!

I amazed myself by actually writing a legible blog entry about Doctor Who and then publishing it. I was amazed even more by the amount of Whovians I know that agreed with me. That said, with the exception of some nerdish unanswered questions, the finale of DW was far more straightforward than we all probably expected. I won't say it was the best episode of DW I've ever seen, but it made up for a largely uninspiring series. Nice tribute to the Brigadier, mentions for Rose and Jack and a really excellent opening featuring the Daleks, that would have been worth the admission price alone had it been a feature film.

For the comic book fans, this also offered up an X-Men ending. I won't go into details for all of you who will want to kill yourselves before the end of this sentence, but those of you who read the X-Men in the late 1980s will see what Steven Moffatt did.

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Fringe is back and I should be jumping up and down and getting excited like a schoolboy having his first wet dream; but... It's wrong. The events of the last season finale have reset the two universes; so as a result things that happened haven't and other things that we didn't see happen have.

The season opener asked enough questions and set plenty of new ideas into motion to keep die hard fans interested, but by episode #2 it seemed like they were already shovelling filler into the holes, in an episode that actually seemed to flounder by the time it got to the midway point. It was formulaic and un-Fringe-like, despite its inherent weirdness.

Episode #1 kicked us off into the new Peter Bishop-less universes, where the two sides have an uneasy truce and have agreed to work with each other to save both worlds. No one remembers Peter, but everyone has a Peter-sized hole in their lives. This episode did nothing to assuage fans' fears that Joshua Jackson could be leaving or taking a huge back seat in this series. The introduction - proper - of Lincoln Lee into 'our' universe seemed to set the scene for Olivia to have a new sidekick; maybe even a new love interest; which of course would juxtapose the events of last season very well when Peter does return. As a series opener it hit lots of right buttons and while terribly underused, Walter again had all the best lines.

Episode #2 seemed to forget the main story and concentrate on the new 'working relationship' between the two worlds. It was the kind of thing you expected from an old episode of X Files and while it has been acknowledged that Fringe Division is a sort of ancestor to Mulley and Sculder; it doesn't have to continuously hit us over the head with it. This episode could be the introduction of a potential new villain; the kind to take our minds off of the fact that since Peter's disappearance the raison detre of the series seems to have been lost. Still bonkers TV at its best though.

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Haven has had more happen in two episodes than it has in the previous 20. Sadly, the series has lost its 'so bad it's good' feel and is now just 'so bad'. The last two episodes suggest that SyFy wants something to happen in it or they won't be giving it a third series - that would save me 42 minutes of my life times 13.

The brilliance of Haven was that you spent more time finding fault in it than actually trying to enjoy the rather adolescent 'horror stories'. Now it seems to have some idea what it is doing, all the charm has drained out of it like a leaky tank. Next week's finale might be the last time I watch it.

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I discovered that Eureka is to have one final season and that was a real blow. It has been, by far, the most enjoyable comedy/sci-fi series ever created; has had more twists and turns, (deliberate) shark jumping moments, and conspiracy theories than you'd expect from any TV series. The characters are all mainly likeable and it still has one of the greatest death scenes you will ever see in a TV show and it's only getting one more series (and that series will not have Jo in it, because she quit at the end of season 4).

As cliffhangers go, the season finale of Eureka was up there with the classics and I'm betting die hard fans of the series, the ones who thought they knew what was going to happen, were all (pleasantly) surprised and it sets the series up nicely for the final season, which has had an extra episode tagged onto it, presumably as an epilogue to the entire series.

Eureka was like the hand and Warehouse 13 was the glove that slipped over it. W13 is also a great comedy show, but the production values are piss poor compared the Eureka and I'm disappointed that one is being cancelled and the latter being renewed. W13 is good, but it isn't in the same league as Eureka. However, W13 has Allison Scagliotti and Eureka cannot match her in any department.

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Terra Nova was largely a load of old horse shit. We sat through the double pilot episode last night and I just wanted something to happen that didn't seem like it was lifted straight out of Jurassic Park. Even the only real mystery of the opener was explained away at the end of the episode.

It's Jurassic Park meets Mad Max meets Avatar meets The Gates meets any family drama from a major American network and it will have to go some way to prove to me that it is worth watching, because on reflection, the opener was not as brilliant as all the newspapers and Internet nerds seemed to think it was. I didn't let on to the wife, but I thought it sucked - BIG TIME!

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The Vampire Diaries really is the best thing with vampires in it out there. The new series continues in its post-modern Buffy/Angel vein and has gone off in a direction I didn't expect. It has some killer lines; great stories and it actually now feels like a top quality show in all aspects.

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The problem we're having at the moment is that there is just too many things to watch and not enough time to watch them in. We have the following to watch - The Fades, Person of Interest, Ringer, episodes of Secret Circle, Harry's Law, umpteen new series beginning over the next few weeks; stuff we still have to watch from the last five years AND the new series of my all-time favourite show at the moment. Dexter was back last night and I shall find the time to wallow in its brilliance, either that or I will have to kill someone.

A Late Amendment:
Saw ten minutes of the pilot for Ringer. Not only did it seem very poorly acted, but Sarah Michelle Geller looked as rough as a badger's arse...

3 comments:

  1. I didn't read X-Men comics in the 80's so what's the bit they borrowed for Doctor Who? I've not had the problems that others have had with this series, although I did think the first half was weaker then the second and while I like River Song, they need to rest her for a bit, as the series seemed to be more about her than the Doctor.

    I gave up on Fringe at some point after Olivia returned last series. It has charm, but it just doesn't grab me and I often forget it's on.

    I watched the first episode of Ringer (fnar) and while Sarah Michelle Gellar is still very good, the programme itself veered from awful to quite interesting and back again too many times for me to stick with it.

    The Fades is quite good, better than I thought it'd be, although it is straying into a Buffy pastiche in places.

    What do you reckon the chances are of snow by the end of October? There were some warnings flying about a week or so ago, before this heat hit us.

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  2. Just added a bit about Ringer. It looks dreadful. I love Fringe, you are misguided and deluded.
    Snow for the mountain tops in Scotland by Friday, but my gut feeling is a mild winter with the first snow not coming until the end of February 2012.
    In the X-Men circa 1987, Claremont killed the entire team off, but didn't really, so that they could carry on their work without the whole world recognising them. Everything in comics ends up on TV or film eventually, just needs to do the rounds ;)

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  3. Oh, the Australia period. Right, I see where you're coming from now. Yes it does seem a bit like that, but I don't know if they'll keep the Doctor in the shadows for long.

    Yeah, I thought snow on the south coast in October seemed a bit unlikely, and that was before the mini heatwave, but I thought I'd ask an expert.

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