Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pilot Previews Part III and Jekyll Arrives

So, number three. Last time I promised a review of the BBC series Jekyll as well as more pilots. This time, I deliver.
Over the weekend I was able to get my hands on four more pilots for the upcoming season. None of them are particularly special but one of them is truly BAD. Take a guess which one: Cane, Lipstick Jungle, Cavemen, and The Big Bang Theory. This should not be too hard of an answer to come up with, but to make it easier I’ll give you two clues. Geico. Commericials.

Whoever thought it was a good idea to convert this series of vignettes into a half hour comedy series seriously has no sense of comedy. This is no sitcom, this is not a television show. Instead, it’s just a mess of a half hour that relies on poor racial stereotypes to craft an insipid story. This is just one pile of crap. And still, Cavemen exceeded my expectations.
Critics have railed on the show and beaten to death. Rightfully so. Still, I do not know if I consider it as bad as so many say. It is embarrassingly bad, but is it insulting to all other television? I don’t know. Still, whatever you do stay away…if this even makes it to air. Word is that the network has ordered a completely new pilot and have not set a start date for the series. Many may be spared from this horror. And no, I’m not even doing it the service of summarizing its ridiculously dull plot. This is just something you should avoid!

The Big Bang Theory is also a show to avoid. Nowhere near as bad as Cavemen, this is just a show that feels like it was ripped out of the 1980s. A couple months ago I reviewed Revenge of the Nerds’ new DVD release at A special feature on that disc was a failed pilot for a TV show based on the film. The Big Bang Theory feels like that pilot. The jokes are old, the characters pure stereotypes and the story nothing new. Sure, there are some chuckle inducing moments, but none of it special. These moments all come from stupid humor rather than any real sense of comedy.
Basically, this CBS show is about two geeks Leonard (Johnny Galecki, Roseanne) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons, The Knight from Garden State) who have become very set in their hermit ways. Sheldon prefers one specific spot on the couch while Leonard prepares mathematical equations. The biggest thrill for the two is when Howard (a hilarious Simon Helberg) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) come over with a DVD of a pre-disease-striken Stephen Hawking delivering a lecture. The dynamic of the group changes when Penny (Kaley Cuoco) moves in across the hall. Becoming friendly with Leonard and Sheldon, she soon gets drawn into their nerdy world. Lucky for Leonard he seems to be the only one with a chance of getting with her.
Written by Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men) I don’t think this show can fail. Does that mean I like it? No. But it is traditional and traditional has its fans. A simple multi-camera sitcom, The Big Bang Theory is a take it or leave it show. I choose to leave it.

Next up, Lipstick Jungle. A chick show through and through, I watched this merely to say I watched as many pilots as possible. With little new, this is Sex and the City redone with high powered women. Although all three leads are smartly cast, there is just nothing particularly appealing to a male audience. Female led, this soap opera copy may go on to develop a strong female following. Not as grating as I thought it would be, I’ll go light on the show because it is just not my cup of tea. The one thing I will give the creative team props for is actually making me care about these three women. I believe it was the good performances, not the heavy handed script that really made me appreciate these characters. Still, this is not something I can stomach following week in and week out.
Basically, Lipstick Jungle follows three high powered women in modern day New York. There is Wendy (Brooke Shields), the head of Paradour Pictures, Victory Ford, a famous fashion designer, and Kim Raver, a magazine executive striving to be even more effective in a man’s world. The major focus of the show shifts between these three women and their business and personal lives. Although billed as a dramedy, this is more along the lines of drama than comedy. The best way to describe the show is a less funny Entourage for women. It has all of the same character set ups but none of the wit and charm. Still, this could connect with a female audience.

Finally, I was able to catch a glimpse of Cane. CBS’ new drama about a close-knit family in charge of a rum and sugar fortune in South Florida. Billed as a Hispanic Version of The Sopranos, there is nothing more to say. This is a network friendly, Hispanic version of the show. With Jimmy Smits leading the talented cast, Cane could have and should have been much more than what was delivered. Not necessarily bad, the show is just bland. The twist at the end is not too surprising and the overall development of the episode is a bit slow. Airing in the same spot as the quickly cancelled Smith (CBS program starring Ray Liotta) Cane may also find difficulty grabbing a foothold on Tuesdays at 10. Sure the cast is strong, but outside of that there is nothing making this a must see show.
That could be a big problem. Slow, just like Smith, Cane could fall victim to an early cancellation. Another problem I see is with the title. While it discusses the important crop at the center of the Duque family, it is a bit of a head scratcher. Los Duques would work much better as a title in my opinion.
Anyway, Alex (Smits) married Isabel (Paola Turbey) when they were young. Since then he has become apart of the Duque family. While she chooses to raise their three children, Alex actively participates in the Duque business. With patriarch Pancho (Hector Elizando) the company has developed a successful rum franchise. Introduced to the family as Alex, Frank (Nestor Carbonell) and Pancho are discussing the potential sale of the companies’ sugar crops, Cane never really leaves this nestled world. Focused on the internal and external struggles of the family and Alex, the program does not expand its focus. Limiting the potential for interesting characters and storylines, this centralized program really feels tired. Perhaps a hit with an older audience, I do not see how Cane can last on the trigger friendly CBS. (Jericho, anyone?)

Now for a quick update…here is how I rank all of the pilots I have seen thus far.
1. Sarah Connor Chronicles
2. Chuck
3. Reaper
4. Pushing Daisies
5. Aliens in America
6. Bionic Woman
7. Cane
8. Lipstick Jungle
9. Big Bang Theory
10. Cavemen

The final show to discuss today comes to us from across the pond. The BBC and BBC America co-produced the latest horror/action piece from Dr. Who writer Steven Moffat. Starring James Nesbitt (Bloody Sunday) Jekyll is one of the best programs I have seen in a long time. The first episode of series one truly gripped me when I watched it six weeks ago. Wonderfully acted, interestingly scripted and well directed, Jekyll is fresh, new and totally special. Just as the show has finished up its BBC run, it now jumps over to BBC America to start airing this coming Saturday Night. Completely worth your time, Jekyll is something that is highly entertaining while also being thought provoking.
Nesbitt is the reason this series works. He stars as Dr. Jackman, a modern day family man who also happens to be a scientist. After a sudden discovery a couple of months ago, Dr. Jackman soon realizes that he is loosing control. Taking steps, including hiring another scientist Katherine Reimer (Michelle Ryan, Bionic Woman) Dr. Jackman does all he can to learn more about the monster inside him. That monster’s name is Hyde. A modern day retelling of the classic story, the series begins very pedestrian and soon becomes more and more complicated. This is not just about man vs. himself, nor man vs. nature but something else entirely. Enveloped in mystery and conspiracy, Dr. Jackman soon realizes that there is more to Hyde and his friends and family then he ever could have imagined.
James Nesbitt is genius as these two distinct individuals. While they are said to actually physically change, Nesbitt carries off the changes in Dr. Jackman better than any one can ever imagine. Just by changing his expressions and his facial movements, Hyde is so distinct that it is clear which mind inhabits the body at what time. There is a spellbinding, jaw dropping genius at work here that makes the character so much more than myth and even much more than a scripted being. This is an individual pure and simple.
Jekyll is simply sublime entertainment and best of all, includes twists and turns I never saw coming. Even the tag to the series is so good that I gasped. In an age where most television shows can get a bit caught up in their own formulas, to genuinely surprise me takes a lot. Jekyll has done that twice, and both times they are awesome. Although there has been no word on a second series (British term for season), I do hope that the series returns. Even with all that was uncovered in these six episodes, there feels like there is a much more substantial story that can be told.

As always thanks for reading. While I hope to have some more pilots to review soon, the well has dried up for now. Next time I don’t know what I’ll talk about but I’m sure something good will come up. There’s always something on…right?

Tonight’s TV:
My two favorite guilty pleasures of the summer air tonight: On The Lot and America’s Got Talent. While AGT is a pure sideshow, and enjoyable because of it, On the Lot is a show that just went off the rails somewhere. Still, I watch because I love filmmaking, but for the rest of America, it is no surprise that they tuned out. I mean, look what happened to Project Greenlight.
Also, be sure to catch Damages, the new FX drama starring Glenn Close. Good TV Tuesday….


Thursday, July 26, 2007

TV Pilots Part II plus Weeds Season Three and Californication's First Episode Reviewed

So, yesterday I promised that I would be back to talk about Weeds, Californication and The Bionic Woman. When I got home from work yesterday I didn’t think it was possible that I would get through watching all of them but luckily enough I did. That isn’t to say that there were not some minor disturbances (the appearance of the 2nd Mouse in the apartment, now confined to the Kitchen). But these were not enough to even keep me from catching the latest Rescue Me and Bravo’s Watch What Happens Top Chef special. Rescue Me was great as usual, and this weird mid season reunion show on Bravo was surprisingly entertaining.

Still, none of what I watched last night beats Weeds’ first three episodes of the upcoming season. As we enter the third season of MILF selling mayhem, Nancy Botwin’s (Mary-Louise Parker) life is in the shitter. At the close of the second season Nancy was held at gunpoint by gangster U-Turn and a crew of Armenian Drug Dealers all jockeying for their piece of her growth. Unfortunately Nancy’s son Silas (Hunter Parrish) decided that this was the time to convince his mother to let him become involved in her burgeoning business. To do so, he stole her complete crop and placed her and Conrad’s (Romany Malco) life in danger.
Season three picks up RIGHT where we left off. Silas is being taken into custody for stealing the Agrestic “Drug Free Zone” signs made by Celia (Elizabeth Perkins) while Nancy hangs on the other end of the phone line trying to find out where her son hide their crop. At the same time Nancy’s brother-in-law Andy (Justin Kirk) is hunting down Shane (Alexander Gould) and his ex-girlfriend (Zooey Deschanel) who has taken the niave Shane along for a tour around the country. As these two storylines unfold such chaotic and hilarious actions occur that it is too much to recap. While the first two episodes of the new season are exact follow ups to the season finale from last year, the arc of the season really kicks into gear with the third episode. Without revealing too much, Nancy is facing bankruptcy, Celia is dealing with her divorce from Dean (Andy Milder) and Doug (Kevin Nealon) is lamenting over cheating on his wife. The one with the worst fate of all is Andy who seems to have failed at his quest to get out of military service. Despite losing two toes and going through rabbinical training, the weed-loving brother looks like he has been assigned a fate worse than death. There is no escaping the U.S. military.
So far, Season Three is shaping up to be a darker but still interesting arc in the lives of the Botwin family. Season two has set the bar very high, and while these first three episodes deal with the ramifications of season two directly, they lack the sharp humor that made last season special. Still a great show, Weeds will never fall off my radar, but at the same time I was hoping for more. With twelve episodes left in the season I have still have faith that the show will deliver.

Showtime’s other comedy, the new Californication, is a great companion show to Weeds. Similar in tone, this dark comedy does have a couple bright spots. Anchored by a welcome David Duchovny, the humor tends to stay very dry and frustrating. But occasionally there are moments of laugh out loud genius. One of these scenes occurs in a movie theater as Duchovny’s character Hank Moody asks a man to not answer his cell phone. The man does so and Duchovny gets so upset that he reaches forward and hangs the phone up. A couple of seconds later the man receives yet another call and proceeds to answer his phone! Having enough of this rude behavior, Hank engages in a brawl with the man. Ultimately, he wins and is greeted to massive applause by the thankful crowd in the theater. The real kicker to this whole scene, the movie playing on screen is based off a book by Hank, and Hank hates the film! Still, just the best way to express the fury that constant moviegoers feel when someone answers their phone in the middle of a dark theater.
The first episode of the show deals primarily with Hank’s recent writer’s block and where that may be connected to the mother of his daughter. A couple for a long time, Hank’s inability to ask for her hand in marriage has led Karen to leave Hank. Although they still meet frequently due to his custodial rights, Hank is pained to discover that Karen is engaged to her current boyfriend. Crushed and rejected, Hank continues his downward spiral, sleeping with multiple women and simply wandering through his days. Deadpan underlined with sadness, it is Duchovny that makes Hank work. Without his deft understanding of humor, the show could become a completely depressing mess. Instead, Californication has a lot of potential and could develop into just as strong a show as Weeds. Not there just yet, I will give the show a couple of episodes to grow. Part of the reason is because of the awesome way the episode ends. With Hank finally taking a seat at his keyboard and typing a word, we see it appear on our screen as it does his. Although the text is white and the background black, what is written, and the way it is written feels just right.

Finally, we get to the sixth pilot I have seen this fall. Highly anticipated for sci-fi fans, Bionic Woman does not live up to its potential. Executive produced by Battlestar Galactica’s Executive Producer David Eick, Bionic Woman had all of the potential to be a hit for NBC. Sadly, with this pilot, that potential is all but squashed. Awkwardly paced and unevenly scripted, this episode is a bit difficult to watch. Not necessarily bad, there are just too many leaps in logic and emotion that must be made to overcome the plot. Even though the directing style works well for the show, and the acting is relatively strong, there is just not enough here to make this a viable competitor come the fall.
Michelle Ryan is Jamie Sommers. Yet another Brit playing an American, Ryan’s ability to cover her accent is not as successful as Hugh Laurie. She maintains a decent American tongue, but occasionally catches a word or two in her native English accent. While Ryan’s performance as Jamie is decent, there is just nothing special about it. Sure she is hot and her character is compelling, but that is not enough to overcome the fairly flat performance given by the lead. This is a shame too, considering that Ryan can be really good. Most recently seen on Jekyll over on the BBC (and coming to BBC America shortly), Ryan’s performance on that show is what Bionic Woman should have showcased. Layered, her performance reveals a tough, bright and ultimately vulnerable woman in over her head. While Jamie is portrayed that way in the storyline of the show, Ryan is not able to showcase her strong performance skills. A pity.
The one really nice surprise from the pilot of Bionic Woman is Katee Sackhoff. Known to fans as Starbuck on Battlestar Galatica, Sackhoff excel as the original, mentally disturbed female bionic fighter. With a shadowy past, Sackhoff imbues her villainous killer with subtle sensitivity. Controlling the screen, it is a shame that she could not have anchored this series. It would have been different, but at least it would have been compelling.
A sci-fi story through and through, this modern day retelling of the 1970s television program features a pretty straight forward story. Jamie Sommers is involved in a vicious car accident and loses her right arm, right ear and right eye as well as her legs. Given a new lease on life due to an experimental army program, Jamie is now constructed of her organic tissue and robotic anthrocites. Simply put, Jamie is now a superhero saddled with personal problems.
As you can tell, I find this incredibly disappointing. I was hoping for much more than I got and for that reason I cannot really recommend the show. Now, the pilot is going to be refilmed and altered per reports from NBC. The deaf sister of Jamie is being dropped to make room for a young rebellious teenager. Similar in style to the deaf sister in the pilot, this is just one trapping that will only help the pilot when removed. Regardless, I am cautious about Bionic Woman, Isaiah Washington’s involvement in the show and the potential backlash towards Sci-fi series that this may cause.

Thanks for Reading.

Coming up soon: More pilots and my perspective on the BBC show Jekyll

On TV Tonight: Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares on the BBC America, AMC’s Mad Men, and Burn Notice on USA.

Also, don’t forget The Simpsons Movie this weekend. I can only hope it will be excellent.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fall Pilots Part I: Sarah Connor Chronicles, Chuck, Pushing Daisies and More

This is my second blog. Not my second post. Just my second blog that I have ever really done. My first, a failed personal journal soon became just a way for me to post about TVs and Movies. As I have started to work more and more for, I’ve realized that the only outlet I really want online is a place to express my thoughts about TV, Film, Movies and home entertainment. This is now that place.

Rather than comment on the Emmys (I’ll just say “Boston Legal?!”) or my love of Friday Night Lights and The West Wing, I’ve decided to look ahead. I’ve recently had the opportunity to watch the first couple of pilots for the fall season. While I hope to update and add my opinion on nearly all of the major network pilots, I have only been able to see five thus far.

The first pilot I was able to get my hands on is the delightful Aliens in America. No, Aliens do not come down to earth and invade the good ole US of A. AiA tells the story of Justin Tolchuk (Dan Byrd) and his miserable existence as a social outcast in high school. With an overbearing mother (Amy Pietz) and a lackadaisical father (Patrick Breen) always happy with a few quick bucks, all seems lost for Justin. Lonely and ridiculed, Justin’s mother springs into action and decides to take on an international exchange student. A built in friend for our protagonist, this exchange student from London is sure to be the most talked about and accepted individual in school.
When the exchange student arrives, The Tolchuk’s are in for a rude awakening. Their exchange student does come via London, but he originates from Pakistan. Raja (Adhir Kalyan) may be an ideal student, but in Medora, Wisconsin the only thing people can connect him with are those who committed the attack on America. Eventually, the despair Justin feels over the loss at his chance at being apart of the cool crowd is changed as he connects with Raja and develops his first true friendship.
Hysterically sharp, particularly in its satire, Aliens in America is more than I expect from a CW comedy. Single camera and similar in tone to Everybody Hates Chris, this show feels like a more grounded version of Arrested Development. A show to keep an eye on, this could develop into a genius comedy or get lost in the shuffle. My guess, CW does not let it grow and pulls the plug shortly into the season.
Just one note: the version of the pilot I saw included Patrick Breen as the father. He has been replaced with Gilmore Girl mainstay Scott Patterson. This is an unnecessary casting change that does little to hinder or help the show.

I followed up Aliens in America with another popular fall show amongst TV critics Reaper. Kevin Smith directed this quirky, amusing and fun pilot. Although this show is not going to shake the landscape of television, it is charming enough that it could develop into a really solid series. Like the NBC pilot Chuck, CW’s Reaper shows that it is not taboo to base one’s show around nerds thrust into impossible situations.
Sam (Bret Harrison) is the definition of slacker. An semi-intelligent individual with no drive, Sam has always had it easy. His parents let him get by, never pressuring him to do much or reach for lofty goals. Skipping college and working in a Wal-mart like store, Sam does little more than eat, sleep, work and play video games. That is until he turns 21.
On his birthday, Sam’s parents inform him that in order to save his father’s life when they first got married, they were forced to make a deal with Satan. Promising the soul of their first born, Sam’s parents felt guilty his whole life leading them to go easy on him and let him end up where he is. In a state of shock and denial, Sam does not accept his bizarre fate until confronted by Satan himself (A perfectly cast Ray Wise). Charming except for sudden bursts of temper, Sam soon finds out that the job the devil has for him is one that will require help and skill. Employed as a Bounty Hunter for the Undead, Sam must capture the souls of those escaped from Hell and put an end to their madness on Earth. Along with his best friends Sock (the great Tyler Labine) and Ben (Rick Gonzalez), Sam is now a representative of Hell, on Earth.
Amusing and full of great promise, Reaper feels a bit awkward. Perhaps it is the pacing, or the mere essence that this is a pilot, but the show has not quite figured out the direction it wants to go in. A perfect fit for the CW, Reaper is something that I will certainly keep on my radar and will probably follow when the Fall season hits. It has a lot of promise and such a perfect cast that I want to see more of this diamond in the rough.
Again, there is another casting note: Nikki Reed who plays the unattainable girl of Sam’s dreams has been recast with Missy Peregrym, most recently of Heroes. While I have been a fan of Nikki Reed since Thirteen and felt that she did a fine job in the pilot, I don’t know if the chemistry was there between she and Bret Harrison. I’m cautiously accepting of this casting change.

Next up is the show that everyone has been calling the best new series this fall. I am going to have to politefully disagree. Pushing Daisies is good. Don’t get me wrong. In fact, there are moments of genius in its pilot that make me drop my jaw in awe. The visuals are stunning, the scope very filmic in nature. Written by Bryan Fuller of Heroes and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld of Men in Black fame, Pushing Daisies carries over the tone and style of a Jean-Pierre Jeneut film to the small screen. There is the omniscient, erudite narrator, the bright colorful pallete and the unique camera angles that all make this feel as if Amelie’s tone has been successfully adapted to television.
And yet, for some reason, the show just does not click for me. The directing is top notch, the acting strong and the writing witty, but for some reason, something felt off about this critically hailed pilot. I think the problem is that it is just too sweet. Where Jeneut’s films have an air of grief and sadness tugging at each heartfelt moment, Pushing Daisies seems to embrace its quirky nature and never truly explore the sadder moments. Deaths, although effective, do not fully receive the emotional impact that I craved. Neither does the plot of the episode which comes across as secondary to this well crafted and visualized world and its characters.
The story is pretty straightforward for this high concept series. Ned (Lee Pace) is a pie maker with a special gift. Given the ability to bring the dead back to life, Ned has learned the hard way that there are two problems with his power. Firstly, the dead can only remain alive as long as he does not touch them ever again. Secondly, if Ned does not touch a resurrected individual within sixty seconds, a person in close proximity must die in exchange. While the first part of the pilot focuses on Ned’s present situation which includes a fellow Pie baker Olive, (Kristin Chenoweth) who suspects something is odd about Ned, and Emerson Cod, a private detective (Chi McBride) and business partner of the lead character.
The story soon shifts gears when Ned discovers that his childhood love Charlotte “Chuck” Charles (Anna Friel) has been murdered. Hired to find her killer, Ned wakes her up to ask her who committed the act, only to find himself unable to send her back to eternal slumber. Soon the trio of Ned, Chuck and Emerson go about finding her killer and unraveling a string of other murders.
As I said, Pushing Daisies is charming and really well constructed, but there is something slightly off about it. I’m sure that many will enjoy it and I hope that the show does succeed as it displays the great things television is capable of. Still, I have my reservations about the series. While I’ll give it a chance to grow on me, this may be something that is just too sweet for my liking.

Next up Chuck. Highly promoted and hotly anticipated, this follow-up from OC creator Josh Schwartz is one fun hour of television. Well, its more like 42 minutes, but you know what I mean. Entertaining and slick, Chuck is one of the best pilots I have seen thus far this year. While I still have not found something that has matched Heroes, Studio 60, Traveler, Friday Night Lights, Knights of Prosperity or The Black Donnellys premiere episodes, Chuck is one of the better ones.
I never watched the OC nor did I have a desire to, but by all accounts, Chuck carries over the geek chic style that Schwartz established with that show. Centering around, sure enough, Chuck, this action comedy is a great fit with Heroes on NBC’s fall line-up. Directed by McG, the pilot is the perfect set-up for a series with great hit potential. If there is any one show that I expect to break out this year and become a bona-fide hit, Chuck would be my pick. Filled with great humor, perfect action and a fresh plot, this pilot is one appetite-wetting thrill ride.
Charles Bartowski (Zachary Levi) is a complete nerd. With best friend Morgan (Joshua Gomez) Chuck patrols the halls of the local Buy More as a member of the Nerd Herd. Complete with company car and a great discount, Chuck is in geek heaven.
On the eve of his birthday, Chuck’s med school sister Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) tries to get him out of his comfort zone, arranging a party with her attractive friends. Freaked out and over come with stress from the party, Chuck hides in his room where he receives an email from his old college roommate. Little does he know that the email contains all the secrets of the entire Nation’s database. Opening the email, Chuck’s mind is overloaded with every piece of U.S. intel and soon becomes a living computer. Hunted by both the CIA’s Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strzechowski) and the NSA’s Major John Casey (Adam Baldwin), Chuck soon gets wrapped up in international espionage, government security and federal protection.
A lot of fun, this is one show that all show take a look at. While some may not enjoy its comedy or its action, many will grab hold and find themselves incredibly satisfied.

Finally, we get to my favorite pilot I have watched thus far. From surefire hit TV director David Nutter comes The Sarah Connor Chronicles (AKA Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles). Premiering in January on Fox, this fifty minute pilot feels like a logical and well orchestrated connection to the epic Terminator series. Disregarding T3: Rise of the Machines, TSCC takes off two years after the conclusion of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, in the year 1999. Sarah (300’s Lena Headley) is living off the grid, frequently moving she and John (Thomas Dekker, Heroes) from place to place. Picking up as Sarah has just accepted a proposal, the show soon spirals into the action oriented chaos that we have come to enjoy from The Terminator series.
After escaping from this life, Sarah and John take refugee in an isolated New Mexico town with a small school and even smaller population. Unfortunately that is not enough to stop the terminator that has been sent on their trail. An unidentifiable model (Owain Yeoman) that goes by Cromartie, Sarah and John soon find out that there is little that they can hide from. Despite apparently destroying Skynet, the two discover that the destructive program that leads to robots uprising and conquering man still formed, albeit on a delayed schedule. Their source of this information: Cameron (Summer Glau, Firefly/Serenity). Another terminator sent to protect John Connor, Cameron is the guide to our lost heroes. Setting the rest of the series in motion, it is she that helps them elude capture from both the FBI agent James Ellison (Richard T. Jones) and Cromartie.
There are a lot of explosions, bullets holes and household destruction that goes along with this program. Drawing a lot from the films’ styles of action and bags of tricks, there are voice gags, wall-busting brawls and special effects galore. Yet, don’t watch The Sarah Connor Chronicles expect a reimagining. This show is a true to spirit continuation of The Terminator mythology. Unlike Battlestar Galatica, the only thing different about this show from its source material are the lead actors. Although Headey and Dekker take some getting used to, by the time the episode comes to an end, they are more than acceptable to stand in for Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong. Even Summer Glau is welcome as the interesting heroic terminator. Her performance is nicely layered, revealing a tender, almost human spirit within the body of this machine.
Oh, and yes, the iconic music of the films does show up. First it is slowly incorporated by composer Bear McCreary before finally arriving with all of its heartpounding intensity at the conclusion of the show.
One hell of a thrill ride, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is nonstop action. This is the closest that anyone could have come to capturing the film on screen. Although it may be hard to keep this up on a weekly basis, I am very excited to see where the show goes. I am already itching to get my hands on the second episode of this series but for now I guess rewatching the pilot will have to do.
Although it may not appeal to Terminator fans, there are enough out there that this could be a solid sci-fi series for Fox. I sure hope the show does well just so that I can get my weekly dose of mayhem, explosion and balls to the wall action.

So that has been my first blog post. Feedback and comments are requested.

Tonight on TV keep an eye out for : Rescue Me and Top Chef. Also, if you have not done so, check out the pilot of Damages from FX, a top notch legal-based thriller featuring Glenn Close.

Coming up soon expect a review of the first couple episodes of the upcoming season of Weeds, my thoughts on Showtime’s Californication and more pilot coverage, including The Bionic Woman.

Thanks for reading.